Agri Ismail at Eurozine:
At an Irish pub managed by an international hotel chain, German beer is being served by Filipino waitresses. An Eritrean bartender is mixing a cocktail, his theatrical performance indicative of extensive industry training, a training that he has received somewhere other than here. Speakers relay Rihanna concluding her ecstatic confession of having found love in a hopeless place, which gives way to a western-inspired whistle soaring above a beat that is almost militaristic.
An alien's love-thirst / A wonder who betrayed who first. “Oh, I love this!” someone shouts in Swedish from the other side of the pub, as the hoarse voice of singer Jocke Berg makes itself heard through the ambient noise. At another table sit a handful of young women, one of whom is explaining to the others that “this is a Swedish rock band called Kent”. Like so many of us Kurds who have moved here after growing up somewhere else she speaks English with her friends, supposedly the most obvious indicator that we are the pioneers of global gentrification, whereas it is in fact merely the language that we are most comfortable speaking. Iraq, whose population the extreme Right's rhetoric likens to swarming pests, was among the ten countries from where most people emigrated to Sweden in 2013. Meanwhile, Swedish emigration in general is at a level that hasn't been seen “since the peak of the major emigrations to the USA in the 1880s”.