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Geopolitics

What Brexit Means For Those Polish Immigrants In The UK

A decade ago, the "Polish plumber" became the symbol of British fears of immigrants coming in poorer Europe Union countries. After the UK's referendum to pull out of the EU, uncertainty reigns for all.

A Polish shop in Bath, UK
A Polish shop in Bath, UK
Eric Albert

SLOUGH — Pawle, Karol and Marcim are flying high. Poland has just defeated Switzerland in a penalty shootout in the Euro soccer championship this past Saturday, to reach the quarterfinals. With red-and-white paint on their faces and scarves around their necks, they are jumping up and down and singing in a small square in this town west of London, as cars waving the Polish flag pass by, honking, joining in the celebration.

Still, this victory comes with a bitter taste for Marcim Malinowski. He has been living in the United Kingdom for seven years now and British decision to leave the European Union could now spoil everything. "I'm angry. We came here and took on the jobs that the British turned down. We help this country grow. And now, they're telling us to go home!" For Malinowski, a construction worker whose English is still a bit spotty, it feels like a "betrayal."

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Society

Return To Clay: Why An Ancient Building Material Is Back In Fashion

Concrete and glass are often thought of as the only building materials of modern architecture. But Francis Diébédo Kéré, the first African winner of a prestigious Pritzker architecture prize, works with clay, whose sustainability is not the only benefit.

Francis Diébédo Kéré extended the primary school in the village of Gando, Burkina Faso

Clara Le Fort

"Clay is fascinating. It has this unique grain and is both beautiful and soft. It soothes; it contributes to well-being..."

Francis Diébédo Kéré, the first African to be awarded the prestigious Pritzker Prize last March, is paying tribute to clay. It's a material that he adores, which has too often been shunned and attributed to modest constructions and peasant houses. Diébédo Kéré has always wanted to celebrate "earthen architecture”: buildings made out of clay. It's a technique that has been used for at least 10,000 years, which draws on this telluric element, known as dried mud, beaten earth, rammed earth, cob or adobe.

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