I’m working on a piece that takes place in the inner-city, and going back over Random Family, which I read almost a year ago. The book is chock-full of incredible reporting, and clean simple prose that make the breaking heart of the story burst clear-through. Too many scenes and snippets (and even profoundly good exposition) to recount, but I wanted to … Continue reading Random Family: On showing, telling, and showing up…
My piece on Laura’s Law – the involuntary outpatient commitment statute being implemented in California – is out in this month’s issue of Pacific Standard. There are two things that I want to note: 1) This is not a comprehensive or wholly unbiased take on involuntary outpatient commitment. This is the story of one county — the … Continue reading On big stories with narrow perspectives
One afternoon last fall, Emile Bruneau, a cognitive neuroscientist from MIT, met with three research assistants at Eotvos Lorand University in Budapest, to plan a series of behavioral experiments. The school system in Hungary (and in many if not most other European countries) has a history of discriminating against Roma students, going so far as … Continue reading On Bias and Blind Spots
My apartment in Budapest was a block away from The House of Terror, which served as headquarters for the Arrow Cross in 1944, and for the Communist terrors AVO and AVH between 1945 and 1956. During the Arrow Cross reign alone, thousands of innocents were tortured and killed in the building’s basement prison. The museum that stands there today provides … Continue reading On Holocaust Remembrance Day: A very quick tour of Nazi headquarters in Budapest.
In honor of International Romani Day, I’m posting more pics from my Roma reporting trip. These are from the “Numbered Streets” settlement, in Miskolc. (They are also on Instagram). *** *** All posts in the “Roma Reporting Project” were supported by a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. Continue reading Roma Project: Numbered Streets
I’ve put these up on Instagram, but figured I’d post them here as well… Just a short slideshow of one of the settlements I visited. I’ll be posting more, settlement by settlement, over the next month, until they’re all up. *** *** All posts in the “Roma Reporting Project” were supported by a grant from … Continue reading Roma Project: Vigtelep
Gusev is the larger of two Roma settlements in the Hungarian city of Nyiregyhaza. I visited the settlement back in October, to report on a school segregation case that had made headlines. As I reported in the New York Times, the court had ruled that the Greek Catholic Church was breaking anti-segregation laws by running a school in the settlement for Roma students, while keeping a much nicer school in the center city for non-Roma students. At the time of my visit, school officials had appealed that ruling, and the school itself was still open. The court ultimately rejected their appeal.
The following is from an interview with Marianna Pongo, an author and artist who grew up in the settlement, and who is raising her own son there, now.
Continue reading Roma Project – Untold Stories: Marianna Pongo, the artist in Gusev