LODZ, Poland — Andac Karabeyoglu, a third-year student at the Lodz Film School, sat in a campus cafe on a recent day and explained why she had come all the way from her home in Ankara to study in Poland.

Part of the draw, she said, was that Lodz was one of the few film schools left in the world where students still learn on 35-millimeter and 16-millimeter film; but another attraction was the school’s unique way of teaching. Read more


NAIROBI, Kenya — The Dadaab refugee camps in northern Kenya sit in a bleak landscape; remote, dusty and arid, they are sun-scorched by day and whipped by fierce dust storms that blow up seemingly out of nowhere.

The first three camps were opened in the early 1990s, when the civil war in Somalia brought thousands streaming across the border. Two more camps have since mushroomed out of the desert. In total they are home to about 500,000 people, making them the largest refugee complex in the world.

Proximity to Somalia makes Dadaab a sometimes dangerous place. Several aid workers have been kidnapped there in recent years, including two seized in 2011 who were freed only this summer. One incident ended last year in a shoot-out between kidnappers and Kenyan soldiers. Read more


LONDON — It was not the most relaxed of cocktail parties. Teachers and administrators — who had been running down corridors and stressing out in elevators between job interviews in recruiters’ hotel rooms — were sipping pints of beer and glasses of wine, scanning the room nervously. As recruiters from international schools lined up at the cash bar at a Hilton, their perspective future employees watched for any signals that they might have landed jobs. Read more


CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA (APRIL, 2009)***–It all starts with a ball. Tossed onto a pitch—newly demarcated with white lines made of sand—black and white boys scramble to get the plastic and rope construction that is doubling for a soccer ball. It’s blazingly hot on this bit of scorched earth in the Retreat neighbourhood of Cape Town—thirty-four degrees in the shade –but the 15 and 16 year-old boys don’t seem to notice. They cheer and scream while scrambling for the ball—the rain-parched earth and white sand are kicked up, a dusty haze settling on the scene. One of the buildings has a spray painted mural of animals—“Come and Play” it reads—but juxtaposed underneath is a festering junkyard of broken glass beer bottles, wayward plastic bags and rusting corrugated roofing. But kids are kids—any space to play with a ball is good enough for a game of pick-up football or soccer as it is called here—and so loose directions are hollered in English and Afrikaans. Other children and parents watch from the sidelines, enthralled in this “pick up” game between two communities that under normal conditions would never meet together—let along play sport—due to social, economic and geographical realities in modern day South Africa. But they are all here—all concentrated between white lines focused on this make-shift ball. Sure it’s contrived and idealized, a literal example of what International Inspiration hopes to be all about— getting kids, whether in the midst of the pitch or shouting orders from the sidelines, enthused about sport. The parents are intrigued, the coaches are helping out and communities are coming together. Taking dead space and transforming it into a safe, fun place. Read more