Illustration: Marco Melgrati

Progress and its discontents

The world has never been better. From global poverty to inequality between nations, all the indicators are showing progress. This is a comforting narrative – popularized by the likes of Bill Gates and Steven Pinker. But is it true? Jason Hickel examines the rise of this so-called ‘New Optimism’, with its ‘battle cry for the status quo’.

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NI 520 - The right to the city - July, 2019
Left out of the big bash: children from Mangueira favela watch fireworks over Maracana Stadium during the closing ceremony.Photo: CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images

Spectacle and reality in Rio

Anne-Marie Broudehoux punctures the bombastic narrative of civic pride and prosperity that accompanies sporting mega-events to reveal how they actually remake the city upon the backs of the poor.

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NI 520 - The right to the city - July, 2019
Winter wind blows from Bedzin’s coal-fuelled electricity plant, stoking clouds of smog, while a woman visits the city’s municipal cemetery. Photo: Violeta Santos Moura

Dark clouds

Violeta Santos Moura reports from Poland, where air pollution claims some 45,000 lives annually. The country’s reliance on coal is the main culprit but it’s an issue bound up in national pride and political manipulation.

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NI 513 - A better media is possible - June, 2018
White saviours

White saviours

Norwegian activists are challenging ‘white-saviour’ attitudes that over-simplify poverty writes Tom Lawson.

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NI 510 - Black Lives Matter - March, 2018

Black Lives - THE FACTS

The impacts of racism can be seen in almost all aspects of everyday life. Black and indigenous people are more likely to be jailed or unemployed – that’s if they make it past childhood.

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NI 510 - Black Lives Matter - March, 2018
Grief and guilt post-mudslide

Grief and guilt post-mudslide

In August hundreds died in a landslide in Sierra Leone. Dumbuya Mustapha reports on the arguing over who was responsible that has followed – and the efforts to hold the government responsible to ensure the tragedy is not repeated.

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NI 507 - Humans vs robots - November, 2017
The spirit of creative resistence is strong in the Rio favela of Maré. But Brazil is suffering a ‘genocide’ of black youth.Photo: Vanessa Baird

‘We have a lot to teach the city’

What does ‘the state’ mean to you if you are poor or black or both? Vanessa Baird reports on life down-and-out in post-coup São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro

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NI 506 - Brazil's soft coup - October, 2017
(Below) Rasinatu as she is now... (Opposite) ...and as she was in 2005, with Mariama, Zakariya and a determinedly contrary Zahara.Photo: Chris Brazier

The Perils of Charity

When rich and poor worlds collide, money is inevitably a problem.

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NI 499 - African village - January, 2017
Illustration: Donough O’ Malley

The Disrupted

Jim Thomas on the winners and losers of emerging technologies.

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NI 492 - Technology justice - May, 2016
Just too dear: sometimes despite energy being available it can be unaffordable. This mother in  Soweto, South Africa, protests against the prices of state utility Eskom.Photo: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters

The energy fix

What will it take to get electricity to Africa’s rural poor? Ruth Nyambura explores.

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NI 492 - Technology justice - May, 2016

Switched on

Technology, whether low or high, needs to be appropriate and within reach to make a difference.

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NI 492 - Technology justice - May, 2016

Facts - Mind the technology gap

Technology can be a big enabler – yet the difference in terms of what’s available to rich and poor is vast.

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NI 492 - Technology justice - May, 2016
Women of the Nicolás Bravo community demonstrate their methods of selecting corn plants for seeds during an agroecology training course, Chiapas, Mexico. Photo: Nils McCune

'Because the river told me'

Peasant farmers resisting the violence of agribusiness. By Nils McCune.

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NI 492 - Technology justice - May, 2016
Charge your phones here: this man displays the board of sockets which helps him earn his livelihood in Nigeria’s Katsina city. Many vendors invest in small solar units to generate the power.Photo: Akintunde Akinleye/Reuters

Technology as if people mattered*

The world's poor are still losing out. They need a better deal, argues Dinyar Godrej.

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NI 492 - Technology justice - May, 2016
An estimated 35% of the Saudi population are poor.Photo: Fayez Nureldine/Getty

Poverty in the land of black gold

‘Rich Saudi’ are words that seem to belong together. But Paul Aarts and Carolien Roelants highlight another, mainly hidden, reality.

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NI 490 - Blood brothers - Saudi Arabia and the West - March, 2016
The distress dealers: an Action Against Hunger advert.The distress dealers: (left) Save the Children, (centre) ActionAid, (right) Action Against hunger.

The unwelcome return of development pornography

John Hilary on a degrading spectacle that keeps coming back.

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NI 478 - NGOs - Do they help? - December, 2014
Poverty breeds disease

Poverty breeds disease

There are 17 official neglected tropical diseases, so why aren't we doing more to help? asks Cristiana Moisescu.

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NI 477 - Big oil RIP? - November, 2014
YES: Nayna Patel is the medical director at Akanksha IVF Clinic, Anand, Gujarat, India. More than 825 surrogate babies have been born at her clinic. Her work has been featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show and on the BBC. She runs the Anand Surrogate Trust for the benefit of the surrogates and their families.

Is surrogacy a legitimate way out of poverty?

Doctors Nayna Patel and Mohan Rao go head to head.

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NI 477 - Big oil RIP? - November, 2014

Articles in this category displayed as a table:

Article title From magazine Publication date
The right to the city July, 2019
The right to the city July, 2019
A better media is possible June, 2018
Black Lives Matter March, 2018
Black Lives Matter March, 2018
Humans vs robots November, 2017
Brazil's soft coup October, 2017
African village January, 2017
Technology justice May, 2016
Technology justice May, 2016
Technology justice May, 2016
Technology justice May, 2016
Technology justice May, 2016
Technology justice May, 2016
Blood brothers - Saudi Arabia and the West March, 2016
Paris climate summit November, 2015
NGOs - Do they help? December, 2014
Big oil RIP? November, 2014
Big oil RIP? November, 2014
Commodities - the pitfalls of resource wealth March, 2014
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