Anthrow Circus

France’s Gas Shortage: A Look Into the Latest French Strike Affecting Daily Life

ARTICLE BY KRISTEN VONNOH

After waves of COVID-19 and the impending effects of war in Ukraine for the upcoming winter, France has been facing a pénurie d’essence—a gas shortage—for much of October.

Strikes that began in late September continued across the country last week. France’s second largest trade union, CGT, had called for employees in all public sectors to defend “wage increases and the defense of the right to strike.”

The French government reacted with sweeping measures in mid-October as the gas crisis worsened, forcing employees of the two ExxonMobil refineries to return to work or risk fines or jail time.

MicroView: Sagrada Família Was What I Needed

STORY AND PHOTOS BY KAMI L. RICE

I hadn’t even stepped inside yet but had already declared Barcelona’s Sagrada Família my new favorite place in the world.

From the stony stations of the cross built into the façade on one side, to the splashes of color in just the right places all over the exterior, to dripping, stony incarnations of gingerbread house icing, to engraved names here and there of characters in the Bible stories the building tells—it was all magnificent. It was a storybook come to life.

The French Caught Up in the Ukraine War

ARTICLE BY BILL DIEM

Some of the Ukrainians fighting Vladimir Putin’s Russian army are also French.

When Putin’s threats toward Ukraine increased in seriousness in mid-February, France encouraged its citizens there to leave. As war damage increased after Russia’s invasion began Feb. 24, there was a second wave of emigrants, said Sen. Hélène Conway-Mouret, the senator for French citizens living in other countries. But some French, she said, usually with dual Ukrainian citizenship, “made the choice to stay … and fight.”

Clashing Conceptions of Statehood Mean Civilians Suffer

ARTICLE BY KAMI L. RICE

PHOTO BY JOEL CARILLET

Hours after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began on February 24, Douglas Webber, emeritus professor of political science and a Europe specialist at the prestigious business school INSEAD, framed the conflict starkly.

“It’s really a decisive turning point we’re looking at here, and for me certainly I think that it’s the most dangerous moment in international politics if not since the end of World War II, at least since the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962,” said Webber to an online meeting of the Anglo-American Press Association of Paris.

Le Cose Importanti: A Family History

STORY AND IMAGES BY EJ BOWMAN

La Nonna’s name was Jone Corti then. Jo-ne. It slid off the tongue like a berry gelato. It
was strange to burden a young Italian girl with a Greek name, especially one that referred so specifically to Ionia and the adjacent sea. It annoyed me when her biddy friends mispronounced it, suffering the harsh J instead of the more lithe Y. p>

The Brotherhood of the Blood’s 600-Year-Long Procession

STORY AND PHOTOS BY ELEANOR MARTINDALE

The Brotherhood of the Blood (la Confrérie de la Sanch) is a religious and charitable organization that has existed in Perpignan since 1416. Its founding mission was to commemorate the Passion of Christ, which is the short, final period of the life of Jesus Christ; to assist prisoners who had been condemned to death; and to preach penance and help sinners prepare for their final judgement and salvation. As part of this mission, members of the brotherhood, known as penitents, would accompany prisoners condemned to death on their final walk through the city to the scaffold.

View From a Pandemic: Concern for People Back Home

AUDIO AND VIDEO PRODUCTION BY MAHBOOB FAIZI
INTERVIEW BY KAMI L. RICE

Mahboob Faizi, a member of the Anthrow Circus family, reached out to me in April looking to fashion a story about his concern over how people back home in Afghanistan would be able to weather the health and economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic. From his current home in Greece, he was feeling rather powerless to know how to help them. Over the months that followed, I interviewed him and helped shape the account we present here. Mahboob, who works in media production for a nonprofit organization, recorded our audio, supplied images, and did the production work.