The Semiotics of Wearing Glasses

Wearing glasses has a complex history yet few seem to have thought about what wearing glasses might mean in different cultures. Glasses can radically transform how a person is perceived by others, and of course can influence how a person sees themselves, especially if wearing glasses becomes habitual.

The Loneliness of Personality in Eastern Europe

Parts of the former Soviet bloc still feel very different to Western Europe. In Ukraine, which is outside the European Union, you enter back into the recent past by rail travel. There are no advertisements on these trains, no signs of capitalism — even on the sleeper trains which connect people from Chernivtsi in the west to Kharkiv in the east, and everywhere in between.

Hospitals, Healing, and Becoming a Person

Hospitals are funny places. The human body is fragmented into constituent parts and everything that could possibly go wrong with those parts. There’s the eye section; and there’s the cancer ward; and over there is the burns unit; there the cardiac section, and so on. This modern, systematic dissection of the human into its various organic parts is of course necessary when locating the source of a person’s pain. But I wonder about what it’s all for.