Molly Crabapple

  • How Can We Stop Cops from Beating and Killing?

    Every week, it seems, brings a story about police choking, beating, or falsely arresting civilians. Yet the cops hardly ever suffer the consequences for their bad behavior. What needs to happen before that changes?

  • We Must Risk Delight After a Summer Full of Monsters

    Life contains everything: tear gas in Ferguson, books read on the grass, journalist James Foley's murder, dancing in New Orleans till sunrise blots the stars. We're meat—fragile and finite. But joy is survival.

  • Slaves of Happiness Island

    What’s often lost in the reporting about foreign labor in the United Arab Emirates is the agency of the workers themselves. The men I met in the Gulf are brave and ambitious—heroes to their families back home. They dared to chase better prospects and were met with repression instead.

  • Caught Between ISIS and Assad

    “ISIS are good fighters, but we fucked them,” Yusuf Halap said in fluent English. I was sitting with Yusuf and two other young media activists in the Bab al Salam camp for internally displaced Syrians, a hundred yards south of the Turkish border. Bab al Salam houses 20,000 refugees, mostly women and children. Under dusty tarps, these refugees live in horrid conditions.

  • I Confronted Donald Trump in Dubai

    Donald Trump's hair should not be. It sits on his head like a soufflé, both airy and solid, as improbable as any building to which he’s given his name. At a press conference last month, I asked him about the paltry wages his company pays to the migrant workers constructing luxury villas bearing his name. It did not go well.

  • Photo Real: On Photoshop, Feminism, and Truth

    While websites delight in publishing un-retouched outtakes of Lady Gaga, Lena Dunham, Faith Hill, and the like, it's not Photoshop that misleads us. Photos themselves are already lies.

  • Theater of Justice

    In the past three years, I've sketched many courtrooms and seen the “widget factory” that is the criminal justice system firsthand. Courtrooms are a violent theater. The violence happens off-scene, but the courtroom itself is the performative space, the stage where the best story triumphs and "justice" is rarely found.

  • Project ROSE Is Arresting Sex Workers in Arizona to Save Their Souls

    A moralistic program in Phoenix arrests sex workers in massive raids and brings them to a church, where they are held extrajudicially and offered alternative sentences without lawyers, judges, or due process.

  • On Turning 30

    Age is a weapon society uses against women. Each year that you gain comfort in your own flesh, your flesh is seen as worth less. Thirty, like 40 or 50, is a demarcation line, but a particularly loaded one. Cross it, says the world, and you leave the trifling-but-addictive privileges of girlhood behind.

  • The Horror of the Blank Page: A Conversation with Art Spiegelman

    Art was in his Borgesian-library/studio—“The Haus that Maus Built”—surrounded by a century’s worth of illustration books. He climbed a ladder propped against his tall, wooden shelves like a mad archivist, grinning, pulling out the volume that might best speak to my ink-stained heart.