Get curated editors’ picks, peeks behind the scenes, film recommendations and more.
On the Mediterranean waters off the coast of Libya, boats overcrowded mostly with adult men from conflict zones dot the waters. The vast majority of these vessels are full of asylum seekers escaping Libya, where, during perilous attempts to reach Europe, they were swept up by the European Union-funded Libyan coastguard. On land, they were often robbed, beaten and at risk of being trafficked. This short documentary captures the inherent tensions, bureaucratic frustrations and fleeting moments of joy aboard a Doctors Without Borders ship operated by a crew dedicated to rescuing these refugees from Libyan boats and death at sea. In particular, the film focuses on the tireless and sometimes thankless work of Salah Dasuki, a Syrian cultural mediator who was forced to make a similarly treacherous trip himself. Although there are flickers of hope amid the chaos on and off the ship, the Canadian director Ed Ou also makes it clear that, even upon docking in Europe, the asylum seekers face long odds of staying. Most will be sent back home, where many, still finding themselves in a desperate situation, will begin the journey all over again.
Tour the European architecture that dreamed of a wondrous, fictitious China
Trek alongside spiritual pilgrims on a treacherous journey across Pakistan
Thinkers and theories
Photographs offer a colonialist window to the past – one that must be challenged
Animals and humans
An artist and ants collaborate on an exhibit of ‘tiny Abstract Expressionist paintings’
How a curious question about colouring maps changed mathematics forever
The rise and fall of Kowloon Walled City, Hong Kong’s infamous urban monolith
When aggression is viewed as brilliance, it hurts women in science, and science itself
From God’s shoes to satellites in heaven – children weigh in on religion
Stories and literature
Myths from Earth’s edge – what the Icelandic sagas reveal about Norse morality