22 March 2017

Between a rock and a hard place

Something unbelievable is happening in Belarus: people, especially in the provinces, are protesting, despite their fear of political repressions. Meanwhile, in the urban centres, a pop-cultural movement has begun seeking a new Belarusian identity. Against the background of economic crisis and tensions with Russia, the regime is being forced to rethink its neo-Soviet cultural policy.

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“I spent my childhood in a dystopia, which I detested with my whole heart, and I now live in a utopia.” Lithuanian author Marius Ivaškevičius explains why Brexit felt to him like a betrayal, why Europe remains a beacon of hope for people living under authoritarian regimes, and why, despite the sceptics, the European idea will prevail.

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Review

Good things have many names

‘Varlık’ portrays Turkey’s first feminist poet; ‘New Humanist’ discusses racism and identity politics; ‘Passage’ seeks a different Denmark; ‘Glänta’ compares town and country; ‘La Revue nouvelle’ challenges managed immigration; ‘Soundings’ thinks beyond traditional forms of public ownership; ‘Merkur’ salvages the relationship between humans and nature; ‘Esprit’ says no to the mechanization of the world; and ‘Vikerkaar’ looks deeper into thingumajigs.

The destruction of society

‘Osteuropa’ rages at the destruction of Russian society; ‘Merkur’ delves into the history of Eurasianism; ‘Vikerkaar’ is sanguine about the decline of universalism; ‘New Eastern Europe’ has divided opinions about borders; ‘Ord&Bild’ finds humanism at sea; ‘Il Mulino’ debates the difficulties of democracy in Italy and the West; ‘Blätter’ seeks responses to the whitelash; ‘Mittelweg 36’ historicizes pop and protest; ‘Critique & Humanism’ looks at Bulgarian youth cultures; ‘Res Publica Nowa’ considers labour; and ‘Varlik’ examines the origins of literary modernism in Turkey.

The ordinary state of emergency

‘Varlik’ discusses emergency and self-censorship; ‘Blätter’ interviews Jürgen Habermas about the task of the Left; ‘Vikerkaar’ shines the light on reactionary populism; ‘Merkur’ considers citizenship still the best guarantee of freedom; ‘Transit’ honours Charles Taylor; ‘Multitudes’ enters the shared world of refugee camps; ‘springerin’ examines the aporias of solidarity; ‘Esprit’ addresses France’s prison problem; ‘Kulturos barai’ talks about neoliberal higher education policy in central Europe; ‘Wespennest’ goes back to the USSR; and ‘Glänta’ tours Retrotopia.

Video

European Meeting of Cultural Journals 2016. Panel: Liberalism, Populism and the Challenges of Post-Transformation in Eastern Europe and Elsewhere

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