Emerging from the dark

2016 was a year of drastic changes as well as stagnation:

The election of Trump. Brexit. The continuation of the wars in Syria, Iraq and Ukraine. The escalating terror attacks in Turkey and the rise of the populist right in Europe.

2017 will probably see even more chaos, continuing wars and escalating conflicts.

In at least two European countries, France and the Netherlands, right wing demagogues could win a presidential race and thus further dismantle the European Union. The “frozen war” in the Ukraine will continue, with outbursts of bloody battles every few weeks. The Syrian war is far from over – and in Assad’s wake lies a decimated population and cities in rubble. Afghanistan could see a major shift with the Taliban gaining the upper hand in the struggle against the government in Kabul – especially as Russia now throws in its support for the Taliban (what a cynical political pirouette) to counter an emerging ISIS near the Russian borders.

In the last years my own focus shifted from photojournalism towards writing. So I decided that the beginning of 2017 is as a good starting point as any other to reactivate my blog. It will feature a mixture of political and social-economic comments, classical reportage and analysis of conflicts as well as fiction and poetry. Strange mix, eh?

But I think to limit such a blog addressing only one specific style or branch of writing will create yet another “bubble” – and from those we have certainly more than enough in these days.

To break things up even more I will invite colleagues and guest writers to contribute to this blog; and hopefully a small, living community will emerge over the upcoming months.

I wish all my readers, despite the dark predicaments at the start, a healthy, peaceful and happy start into the New Year of 2017.

Yours truly,

Benjamin Hiller

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