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Italy

Italy Is Closing The Borders, And Nobody Can Blame Them

Finger pointing isn't going to help Italy solve its migration problems. What it needs is help, and for the EU to stop dilly-dallying. A view from Berlin.

Demonstration against the closure of Italian ports in Rome on June 11
Demonstration against the closure of Italian ports in Rome on June 11
Klaus Geiger

-OpEd-

BERLIN — Italy has closed its ports, letting the Aquarius, a ship with more than 600 migrants on board, drift in the Mediterranean. And right off, the roles have been assigned: The partly right-nationalist Italian government are the bad guys; the good guys are the ones invoking humanity: the German chancellor, the EU, the UN.

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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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