Slavenka Drakulić

Writer Slavenka Drakulić has spent much of her career reflecting on what happened in Yugoslavia in the 1990s – and how difficult it is to combat the ‘nationalist virus’ – in books like ‘Balkan Express’ (1993), ‘As If I Am Not There’ (1999) and ‘They Would Not Hurt a Fly’ (2004). In the light of developments in Spain, she spoke to Spanish online newspaper ‘El Confidencial’ about the potential dangers in the Catalan crisis.

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The main issue surrounding the ugly events on New Year’s Eve in Cologne soon turned out not to be the assault of women per se, but the fact that perpetrators were, in police parlance, of “Arab and north-African appearance”. However, writes Slavenka Drakulic, it may well be that the tears of the women in Cologne that night bring bigger changes to Germany and Europe than anyone could have anticipated, least of all the women themselves.

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The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia has found Bosnian Serb military leader Ratko Mladić guilty of genocide for his part in the 1995 massacre at Srebrenica, among other atrocities. Slavenka Drakulić reflects on a photograph from the first days of the Bosnian conflict, and what it tells us about the nature of evil.

In the first of a series of articles from the landmark 50th edition of Transit (to be published in September), author Slavenka Drakulić casts a rueful glance over the expectations – some fulfilled, many frustrated – of the generations that have lived through the changes since 1989.

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