Jessica Loudis


    LIKE SEX AND TORTURE MUSEUMS, institutions dedicated to the history of the KGB, the infamous Russian intelligence service that was active between 1954 and 1991, are increasingly common in the former Eastern Bloc. Since the mid-1990s, such institutions have popped up in Riga, Prague, and Vilnius, acting as grim reminders of the Soviet Union’s elaborate efforts to maintain its empire. In Leipzig, a local iteration focusing on the East German secret police highlights the disguises that transformed spies into unwitting members of the Village People; in Tallinn, Estonia, visitors can walk through a

  • Joaquín Guzmán Loera, also known as “El Chapo.” in U.S. custody, January 19, 2017. 
    diary January 23, 2019

    Cartel Cowboy

    ON THE AFTERNOON of January 16, a group of reporters assembled in the overflow room across the hall from where Joaquín Guzmán Loera, the Sinaloa cartel leader, known as “El Chapo,” was being tried. There are drawbacks to watching the trial there—the grainy quality of the live video feed, the fact that viewers can’t see the defendant react to explosive testimony— as opposed to the courtroom, but outside the purview of the judge, the atmosphere is also more relaxed. As a Homeland Security agent stepped down from the witness stand, in the overflow room a reporter from El País jumped to his feet

  • Martha Rosler, Plaza de Revolucion, Havana, 1981, black-and-white photograph, 11 x 16 1/4".
    picks May 03, 2012

    Martha Rosler

    One of the more striking aspects of “Cuba, January 1981,” Martha Rosler’s exhibition of photographs that were taken decades ago from behind the Caribbean iron curtain and are now on display for the first time, is how, to paraphrase Matthew McConaughey’s famous line in Dazed and Confused, while the rest of the world has aged, Cuba more or less remained frozen in a continuous revolutionary moment. Taken only two months after Reagan’s election as president and three months after the culmination of the six-month-long Mariel boatlift, these photographs regard Havana’s military uniform stores, Brutalist