Author: Kira Boden-Gologorsky

Kira Boden-Gologorsky is a current junior at New York University pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Global Liberal Studies with a concentration in Contemporary Culture and Creative Production and a minor in Italian Studies. Her interests encompass the intersection of social and cultural issues with media, namely through documentary film, photography and creative writing.

Middle East Now Festival 2017

The Middle East Now Film Festival (MEN) will be returning this week, April 4th to 9th, for its 7th annual celebration of Middle Eastern and North African cinema, art, and culture this April. Taking place at the new Compagnia Theater in downtown Florence, the festival will investigate the theme of the Urban Middle East.

This year’s festival looks at the city as a metaphor for life. Cities are inherently cultural hubs, where people from all backgrounds and experiences come to create and share with others. MEN uses the city as a vehicle to understand in a fuller sense what constitutes the contemporary Middle East.

MEN will be bringing in documentary, narrative, and animated films from Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Libya, Tunisia, Turkey, UAE and Yemen.

Outside of film, artists of all types including, musicians, chefs, and other contributors of culture will look at the varying breadth of what constitutes the urban Middle East. This diverse collection of art will help facilitate a dialogue on the contemporary Urban Middle Eastern identity.

In addition to the festival screenings and prizes, MEN will also have an array of special events. This includes a screening of “The Last Man in Aleppo”, a Sundance award winning documentary about the humanitarian crisis in Aleppo, a special feature on Female Directors in the Middle East, photography by Tasneem Alsultan, and cooking classes in contemporary Iranian Food from Philip Juma of Juma Kitchen.

Saudi Tales Of Love by Tasneem Alsultan

We look forward to seeing you April 4th – 9th! NYU Florence students will be jurying the “NYU Best Short Film” prize and presenting the award at the closing ceremony on April 9th, come show your support!

If you would like more information about the festival contact Kira (, who is interning at the festival this semester.

NYU Florence Poll Results

Last Thursday, November 10th 2016, Kennedy Hill and I polled some of the NYU Florence student body regarding the results of the 2016 Election. We received 54 responses, which is about a sixth of the entire student body. These results are not reflective of the entire student body sentiment at NYU Florence. Instead, they serve as a way to gauge the general themes of the NYU Florence student body’s political opinions.

Here are the questions we asked:

Did you vote?

Did you think Trump would win?

Are you satisfied with the election results (President, Senate, House)

Are there people in your political or personal sphere who accurately predicted the results?

Are you more pessimistic or optimistic about politics post election?

Are you more likely to be politically engaged post election?

Are you more likely to participate in protest post election?

Results are as follows:

55.6% voted in the General Election

37% didn’t vote in the General Election

7.4% not US citizens

87% of students did not think Trump would win.

88.9% of people are UNSATISFIED with the Presidential, House, and Senate results

59.3% did not have people in their personal or political sphere who predicted Trumps win .

61.1% are more pessimistic, 29.6% neither , 9.3% optimistic

74.1% likely to be more politically engaged

55.6% more likely to protest post election

What these results reflect is relatively unsurprising. We represent general trends of our generation, the millennial generation, as a whole. About half of eligible voters between the age of 18 and 32 (the approximate millennial age range) voted in the General Election. The overwhelming majority of students both myself and Kennedy have encountered over our three years at NYU are socially and politically left, including those studying here in Florence. We were overwhelmingly surprised by Trump’s victory, and feel generally unhappy with the results of the General Election. Again, this falls in line with overall millennial sentiment. If only millennials had voted in the election, Clinton would have won by a landslide. We are more pessimistic about politics than before the election, and yet are more likely to be politically active and engage in protest.

Millennials are the generation who will feel the effects of the policies of the Trump White House for decades to come. Prior to the election, we were a generation with record levels of political apathy.  It seems that this election may be the catalyst which inspires and Millennials.

A Conversation with Imma Vitelli on the Situation in Syria

The day following Imma Vitelli’s eye opening dialogue titled The Death of Aleppo: A City Under Siege NYU Florence student Victoria Cece interviewed the international correspondent for Vanity Fair Italia outside of Villa Sassetti. The evening’s dialogue concerned the Siege of Aleppo, elaborating on the atrocities that are being committed there. It left the audience astounded, some in tears. Imma was able to vividly explain the toll that the current situation is taking on the civilian population, including women and children.

To discover more of Imma Vitelli’s meaningful journalistic contributions, please visit her Vanity Fair Italy blog column Io Sono Qui (


Investigating Millennial Apathy

We are are disengaged, we are untrusting, we refuse labels, and we are apathetic. We are also the mostly highly educated, racially diverse, debt ridden, and optimistic generation in American history (PEW Social Trends 2014). We are the millennial generation.

In preparation for the upcoming LPD titled: The 2016 Presidential Election: What Happened? Why? And What’s Next?, I took it upon myself to investigate the political apathy of millennial generation, whose future hinges on the result of the upcoming election. Millennials, also called Generation Y, get our fair share of criticism. Specifically, we are deemed apathetic and unresponsive to our political system. I wanted to investigate the validity of these claims. Read more

Machiavelli on Trump


Un principe che può fare ciò che vuole è pazzo — a prince who can do what he wants is crazy.”
(Niccoló Machiavelli)

This was one of the opening statements made by Stephen Holmes, an NYU Law professor who led a La Pietra Dialogue entitled “Machiavelli’s Advice to Citizens on How to Chose a Leader,” a continuation of the Fall dialogue series: Inside American Politics. Professor Holmes both addressed the potential reasons for the rise of Trump through a Machiavellian lens and applied Machiavellian ideas as suggestions on how to choose a leader. Holmes’ talk applied the 500 year old advice of Florentine political theorist Niccoló Machiavelli to the upcoming presidential election.

Nicolò Machiavelli worked as a diplomat for the Florentine Republic during the exile of the Medici family. Upon their return to power, Machiavelli was jailed and wrote The Prince, which described a ruthless and unforgiving method of political reign. The Prince established Machiavelli as the father of political theory and outlined the ruling dogma of what was eventually called Machiavellian politics. Read more