“I like this atmosphere,” said Muzafar, a 20-something volunteer at the American Corner, an outreach program of the U.S. Embassy, as we walked along a boulevard in the Tajikistan capital city of Dushanbe. “I just remember the civil war, growing up, and now these days!”
Outside, it’s minus 30 degrees Celsius as a February wind blasts across the Central Asian steppe and through the Mongolian capital, Ulaanbaatar. Inside Government House, President Tsakhia Elbegdorj delivers a televised speech that simultaneously warms his people and chills foreign investors.
The next time your dentist tortures your mouth, take a look at his bookshelf. Perhaps he has studied “Managing a Dental Practice: The Genghis Khan Way,” one of six finalists for this year’s Diagram Prize for Oddest Book Title.
In “Modern British Sculpture” at the Royal Academy , there hangs a little work by an artist named Urs Fischer . “Untitled” (2000) consists of half an apple screwed to half a pear, suspended from a thread.