Poster from Malaysia’s Ministry for Women’s campaign #WomenPreventCOVID19

Each time the question “What would you do if all men had a 9PM curfew?” circulates on Twitter, it never draws light responses. It creates a unique opportunity to expose gender inequalities in public spaces, and share anecdotes about the many things women can’t or don’t do in order to avoid unwanted attention and protect themselves from sexual assault. Most responses contributing to this collective thought exercise have to do with access and mobility, like “going for a run at night with my earbuds in,” “going to a bar to have a…

Animal Crossing has become a place for weddings and graduations

Illustration by Kat Geddes (@portraitsofcorona IG)

Despite all the memes that characterize our generation as perpetually tired, introverted homebodies — COVID-19 has shown that we are at heart social animals, after all, longing to be together, and gathering on balconies and in Zoom hangouts. There is a powerful thread that draws us together during times of crisis and conflict when we seek safety and comfort from each other. Our inability to be together in this painful moment, overwhelmed with fear and grief, is a cruelty of this pandemic that’s characterized by proximity and distancing.

In these uncertain times many of us, 11 million to be exact…

Uber’s response to the coronavirus is a matter of mobility justice

Piet Mondrian, 1942 — Broadway Boogie Woogie, via Wikimedia Commons

On Saturday afternoon, an Uber rider in Mexico City named Norma Sanchez got an unexpected alert through her app, notifying her that her account had been suspended. The message stated that Mexico’s Secretariat of Health (Secretaría de Salud) had contacted the company with information about a user “identified as a possible carrier of coronavirus,” and that the company was taking action to temporarily deactivate the accounts of 2 drivers and 240 riders like her who had traveled in the same vehicles as the potential carrier. After trying to reach them, Norma posted Uber’s notification on Twitter adding, “I’m not even…

It’s hard to reflect on a year that wrapped up so unceremoniously, watching Peter Handke, a genocide apologist, receive the Nobel Prize for Literature from the prestigious Swedish Academy. Hanke, a man who famously befriended Slobodan Milosevic and even delivered a eulogy at his funeral, and claimed that Sarajevans had staged attacks on themselves while under siege — was presented with the award by King Carl XVI Gustaf at a ceremony in December. But considering how the year began, there was never really much hope for 2019.

On January 3rd, 2019, Carl Bildt, the former Swedish Prime Minister and EU…

Last month I had the pleasure to write an opening essay for Shira Inbar’s bilingual zine SEPARATED/SEPARADOS, dedicated to the migrant children separated from their parents and detained at the Southern U.S. border. The whole publication is printed in contrasting orange and blue colors, and is comprised of beautiful and moving artwork created by 31 graphic designers. Proceeds from the zine go towards legal assistance and psychosocial support for children in the transit centers at the border.


This summer, two exhibits featured my favorite artist and framed his work in an entirely new light for me. It’s rare that a…

Photo by Icons8 team on Unsplash

Facebook says its Libra payment platform is a social impact project that promises benefits to the poor and unbanked. Others say it’s an obvious play to be a global financial services giant with a virtual currency of its own invention, brazenly ignoring the global financial regulatory system. NGO Mercy Corps, the only humanitarian aid agency involved, is lending its hard-earned credibility to that social impact promise, but at what cost?

“Technology has improved the world around us” is the bold opening statement for the Libra commercial released last week announcing the launch of Facebook’s new digital currency.

Designed to “transform…


I recognized Basel immediately when the shot cut to a group of refugees standing in the rain, and he turned to look briefly at the camera. I was at home a couple of months back watching a Sky News report showing Syrian refugees wading through muddy water and being pushed by Croatian border police, an embarrassing image of Europe’s refugee policy.

Basel had owned a bakery in the heart of Old Damascus, and he rarely charged me for my morning maamouls when I was an Arabic student in Syria. We’d chat through my…

Dragana Kaurin

Human rights researcher and ethnographer. Writes about techy stuff, humanitarian innovation, forced displacement, and refugee rights. Nutella expert.

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