Anthrow Circus

Encounters With Generous Hospitality in Iraq


Joel Carillet’s 2017 travels have included stretches of time in a country that regularly dominates the world’s news cycles. In this photo essay for Culture Keeper, he introduces us to people and stories that don’t make the headlines, but that are just as instructive in creating a true portrait of Iraq as are all the other stories we hear.

On Choosing One’s Neighbors


Who are the characters who would give life to a story about your neighborhood? Here, Heather Surls answers that question about her own neighborhood by introducing us to those who inhabit its daily comings and goings in Amman, Jordan.

Remain Wild and Magical


 This week our Culture Keeper passports take us to the famed but tiny Scottish island of Iona for a fleeting moment of reflection, as recounted by our newest Culture Keeper contributor.  

In A.D. 563 after being banished from his native Ireland, St. Columba landed on Iona in the Southern Hebrides with the intention of bringing Celtic monasticism and Christianity to Scotland as penance. The island happened to be the first spot he reached from which he could no longer see the outline of his beloved Ireland in the distance.

Far-Away Family


Pull up a chair and lean in as new Culture Keeper contributor Scott Will introduces us to family members you’ll wish you could know too.

I knew it would be hard. I had started preparing my heart and mind nearly one year before the day arrived. And when it did arrive, I knew it was time, and felt great peace with my decision, but I also longed for those last few moments to linger on and on. I stepped up to the six-passenger plane, like numerous times before when I had left for short stretches, but this time I felt the weight of the finality of it all.

From India, With Love and Fire: A Visit

By Amber Kidner

Just before Christmas I had an opportunity to visit a small school in Delhi.  The school that my children attend had begun to work with this school in various ways.  My assignment was to photograph the children both at work and at play, as they inhabited their school space on that particular morning. 

A Moons and Houses and Hope Travelogue

By Kami L. Rice

We entered Bosnia by road as night fell. A full moon rose and threw a spotlight down on houses scattered like carcasses through the countryside.

So very many carcasses.

Empty inside, roofless, with charred stone walls marking a former existence.

Silent, somber, haunting, poetic testimony to tragedy.

What exactly had happened here?

Suddenly it all mattered.

From India, With Love and Fire: Water

By Amber Kinder

As I brushed off my Hindi notes recently, I was reminded of our water summer, and I thought of my continued foray into this language like swimming in a pool. With a renewed sense of purpose I’m wading in: testing, floating, choking, shivering, enjoying…