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In "ResetDOC", Seyla Benhabib critiques humanitarian reason; "Blätter" reports on Europe's new refugee movement; "openDemocracy" expresses alarm at the expulsions of a predatory capitalism; "Springerin" looks at the Arab Spring's legacy in contemporary art; "Dérive" sees through the technology-driven smart city hype; "Vikerkaar" visits the post-socialist bazaar; "Magyar Lettre" publishes an extract from Endre Kukorelly's memoir; in "Letras Libres", Margaret MacMillan sees parallels between 1914 and 2014; "L'Espill" looks at new forms of Spanish nationalism; "Fronesis" calls for a more radical discussion of crises; and "Schweizer Monat" talks to the lyricist Durs Grünbein. [ more ]

23.07.2014
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No stone throwing in glass houses

23.07.2014
Farid Hafez

The Arab Spring and "Islam"

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A place, a garden, some time

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A new poetry will be born

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Eurozine Review


23.07.2014
Eurozine Review

The world's echo system

In "ResetDOC", Seyla Benhabib critiques humanitarian reason; "Blätter" reports on Europe's new refugee movement; "openDemocracy" expresses alarm at the expulsions of a predatory capitalism; "Springerin" looks at the Arab Spring's legacy in contemporary art; "Dérive" sees through the technology-driven smart city hype; "Vikerkaar" visits the post-socialist bazaar; "Magyar Lettre" publishes an extract from Endre Kukorelly's memoir; in "Letras Libres", Margaret MacMillan sees parallels between 1914 and 2014; "L'Espill" looks at new forms of Spanish nationalism; "Fronesis" calls for a more radical discussion of crises; and "Schweizer Monat" talks to the lyricist Durs Grünbein.

09.07.2014
Eurozine Review

Courage of thought vs technocracy

25.06.2014
Eurozine Review

Every camera a surveillance camera

11.06.2014
Eurozine Review

All about the beautiful game

28.05.2014
Eurozine Review

New fascisms coated with sugar



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Dilemma 89
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Dilemma 89

focal point Twenty years after 1989, most former communist states in central and eastern Europe are members of the EU. Yet the transition from closed to open societies is far from "complete". Fierce debates rage over lustration and information surfacing from secret police archives, over corruption inherited from communist power structures, and over dominant representations of the communist past. Clearly, 1989 is not only an historic moment of liberation, but also a political and social dilemma for the present day.

30.10.2009
 
Karl Schlögel

Places and strata of memory

Approaches to eastern Europe

The idea of 1989 as an annus mirabilis is too crude; rather, it was the result of a long incubation period that took a different course in each Eastern Bloc country. Karl Schlögel asks whether it is too soon to start talking of a "common European history". [ more ]

19.12.2008
László Borhi

A reluctant and fearful West

1989 and its international context

Dilemma 89 Documents recently released from the Hungarian archives reveal how western leaders, without exception, deferred to the Soviet Union in 1989. The threat of regional chaos meant overwhelming support for preserving the status quo as events unfolded. [ more ]

06.11.2009
Mark Kramer, András Schweitzer

Gorbachev's go-ahead

András Schweitzer in conversation with Mark Kramer

dilemma '89 With the benefit of hindsight, it is easy to accuse the West of reluctance in '89. Yet concerns about a violent crackdown by Moscow were understandable, if ultimately unfounded. [ more ]

15.12.2009
Sándor Révész

One day it has to come out

dilemma '89 Two books dealing with the state security in communist Hungary show that a much wider circle than the network of agents were responsible for the disadvantages suffered by thousands. This radically calls into question the treatment of informants as scapegoats. [ more ]

22.09.2009
Christian Lequesne

The dissident generation, the European idea and transatlantic divergence

Dilemma '89 In the former satellite states, the legacy of '89 includes a hawkish Atlanticism that endures to the present, writes Christian Lequesne. The recent open letter to President Obama signed by Walesa, Havel and other luminaries speaks of a fading relationship. [ more ]

20.10.2009
Tomas Kavaliauskas

Salvation fantasies

dilemma '89 No one in eastern central Europe suspected that once the fight for independence was won, democracy would become a parody of itself, writes Tomas Kavaliauskas. Open disrespect for the public jars with the ideals of the Baltic Way that existed before and after 1989. [ more ]

09.09.2009
 

positions

Martin M. Simecka

Still not free

Why post-'89 history must go beyond self-diagnosis

Czechoslovakia The dissident generation of the 1970s and 1980s produced a body of work unprecedented in Czech history, says Martin Simecka. Yet it is precisely the monumentality of this generation's legacy that prevents the interpretation of the communist past going beyond self-diagnosis. [ more ]

29.05.2009
Konstanty Gebert, Irena Maryniak

Table talk

Poland "It is an unnatural but positive development when democracy trains people to believe that, overall, it is better to let the bastard speak." Former Solidarity actvist and journalist Konstanty Gebert on censorship post-'89 and anti-Semitism in Poland today. [ more ]

30.09.2009
Adam Michnik

Defending freedom

Reflections on 1989

Poland The paradoxical effects of transition make it hard to see what was achieved in '89, writes Adam Michnik. "The workers, with whose help it was possible to win freedom, fell victim to that very freedom." In a "Europe without utopias", cynicism towards democratic values is the biggest danger. [ more ]

30.04.2009
Boguslaw Bakula

The burden of freedom

Polish culture 1989-1999

Poland For Poland, the challenge of '89 lay in combining the formerly separate cultural spheres of dissidence, exile and official policy. When censorship fell away, a cultural "autism" that had developed in Poland during communism encountered a new opponent: the West. [ more ]

15.12.2009
Mircea Vasilescu

European histories, Romanian fairytales

The Securitate archives and the public debate that never was

Romania In Romania, the National Council for the Study of the Securitate Archives has been rendered toothless by political interference. Meanwhile, former communist functionaries, in new democratic guise, still purport to be protecting "national interest". [ more ]

29.05.2009
Agnes Heller

Twenty years on

Hungary "In opposition, they do not comport themselves as the opposition to a democratically elected government. When they become the governing party, they pursue the same paternalistic, populist game." Agnes Heller's indictment of Hungarian politicians twenty years after 1989. [ more ]

07.04.2009
 

literature and film

Katharina Raabe

As the fog lifted

Literature in eastern central Europe since 1989

literary criticism In the twenty years since the fall of communism, literature has been lifting the fog that had settled over the expanses of eastern central Europe. A survey of the post-'89 wave of eastern European literature by Suhrkamp editor Katharina Raabe. [ more ]

08.10.2009
Gábor Németh

Screening

fiction "A person comes in, protests just like you, then shouts and rants, and then, when finally shown the piece of paper that was signed when they were on military service, they crumple." [ more ]

23.10.2009
Zsolt Csalog

What are the Czechs like?

fiction "I'm tellin' ya, if a Czechoslovak had been within reach, I'd've licked his ass clean!" A tough-talking Magyar remembers the stirrings of neighbourly affection in '89. [ more ]

06.10.2009
Jaroslaw Kuisz

Between pigs and debt

Film It all began with the pleasing features of Gary Cooper... On two iconic Polish films that show the brutality, fear and loneliness that have accompanied the new political order: Wladislaw Pasikowski's "Pigs" (1992) and Krzysztof Krauze's "Debt" (1999). [ more ]

06.05.2009
 

Beyond Europe

Martin Hala

China through Zhuangzi's third eye

Twenty years after Tiananmen, the country is both different and same

Tiananmen In the twenty years since the Tiananmen Square massacre on 4 June 1989, China has risen from the ashes by engaging with the West economically and by manufacturing patriotic consent. But how long can the "rising dragon" continue to be impervious to history? [ more ]

03.06.2009
 

East or West?

Marek Seckar

Anti-communism in a post-communist country

How progressive tendencies become regressive

East or West? Whether irrational or calculated, anti-communism in the Czech Republic distracts from more pressing problems. The Czech communist party might be an anachronism, but to ostracize it only prolongs its existence. [ more ]

23.10.2009
Wojciech Przybylski

The whereabouts of the imprisoned Polish memory

East or West? The notion of abandoning the East dominates the Polish memory of '89. Renewed debate among the born-free generation about the period of change would foster a more individual cultural identity. [ more ]

23.10.2009
 

Media post-89

Media landscapes: Central and eastern Europe

Those in central and eastern Europe who in 1989 saw the media as the handmaiden of democracy have today become targets for new and subtler forms of censorship. A Eurozine focal point guest-edited by Judith Vidal-Hall illustrates how media autonomy in Europe's "newer democracies" is being inhibited by market forces, continuing political intervention and, in some countries, the influence of organized crime. [ more ]

 

Eurozine partner issues on '89

Wespennest 156 (2009). Including Daniela Dahn, Wolfgang Müller-Funk, Slavenka Drakulic, Georgi Gospodinov. Review

Esprit 10/2009. Including Pierre Hassner, Christian Lequesne, Frédéric Worms, Jacques Rupnik, Francois Fejtö. Review

Index on Censorship 3/2009. Including: Timothy Garton Ash; Konstanty Gebert; Ingo Schulze; Ivan Klíma; Vladimir Arsenijevic. Review

Osteuropa 2-3/2009. Including: Adam Michnik, György Konrád, Tomas Venclova, Jachym Topol, Ivaylo Ditchev. Review

Magyar Lettre 74 (2009). Including: Zsolt Csalog, Václav Havel, György Dalos, Noémi Kiss, Gábor Németh. Review

The Hungarian Quarterly 193 (2009). Including: Ágnes Heller, László Borhi, Marianna Kiscsatári (photos). Review

Res Publica Nowa 1/2009. Including: Jaroslaw Kuisz, Joanna Kusiak. Review

A Prior x3 (2009). Programme for Contour 2009, the fourth Biennial of Moving Image. Review

 

External link The perceptive reader will not have failed to notice that this cluster of articles concentrates on other '89 focal points than the Berlin Wall. The German-German relations anyway dominate the anniversary frenzy of most media. However, we cannot refrain from referring to the latest issue of the German edition of Lettre International: "Berlin auf der Couch". Probably the best 20-years-after account around.

 
Eurozine News Item

International conference: Central European Forum

Bratislava, 17 and 18 November 2009

conference The Central European Forum, an international conference open to the public, will take place in Bratislava on 17 and 18 November 2009. Participants include Slavenka Drakulic, Vaclav Havel, György Konrád, Ivan Krastev, Adam Michnik, Martin Simecka and Timothy Snyder. [ more ]

13.11.2009
Eurozine News Item

Literatur im Herbst: Dilemma 89

LIterary festival "Dilemma 89" is the topic of this year's "Literatur im Herbst", hosted by the Alte Schmiede in cooperation with "Wespennest" from 6 to 8 November in Vienna. Speakers include Herta Müller, Olga Tokarczuk, Jáchym Topol, Richard Wagner and Daniela Dahn. [ more ]

06.11.2009
 

More focal points

Changing media – Media in change
Media-technological developments are causing a fundamental re-structuring of the newspaper and book publishing sectors, with traditional media locked in fierce competition with online newcomers for market superiority. Yet media change is about more than the "newspaper crisis" and the iPad: property law, privacy, free speech and the functioning of the public sphere are all affected. [ more ]

The bonfire of the universities
The uni's burning! The slogan was everywhere in the German-speaking space last winter, as the protests at the University of Vienna set off a wave of similar strikes, first at Austrian universities, then beyond: in Frankfurt, Heidelberg, Marburg, Zürich... 2009/10 saw further protests at universities in Athens, Zagreb, Marseilles and London. The Bologna Process, one of the main points of contention, also marked its ten-year anniversary on 12 March this year by officially inaugurating the European Higher Education Area. Eurozine surveys a debate enflaming (not only) Europe. [ more ]

Climate of change? Debating the politics of global warming
Agreement about the necessity of radical ecological change may be unprecedented, yet rhetoric and reality go their separate ways; what looks good on paper fails to resonate in social and political practice. Will the Copenhagen Climate Summit be able to bring together word and deed? Or will business continue as usual in the global greenhouse? A Eurozine focal point debates the politics of global warming. [ more ]

Media landscapes: Central and eastern Europe
Those in central and eastern Europe who, after 1989, saw the media as the handmaiden of democracy and the conventional watchdog on power, today have become targets for new and subtler forms of censorship. How media autonomy in Europe's newer democracies is being inhibited by market forces and continuing political intervention. [ more ]

The malady of infinite aspiration?
Sound in principle or sick at heart? Articles on the financial crisis, compiled under Durkheim's memorable phrase. Including: Jacques Rupnik, Ralf Dahrendorf, Daniel Daianu, Mircea Vasilescu, Heiner Flassbeck, Olivier Mongin. [ more ]

Olympic indifference
The Beijing Olympics 2008 are unusual insofar as not one country has boycotted them. This, despite the fact that the political dimension of the Games has seldom been more controversial. Are we seeing a new kind of "Olympic indifference"? With this in mind, Eurozine compiles articles on sport, politics, and protest. [ more ]

Shared space, divided society
Migration is part of modern society, meaning more and more people of different ethnic, religious, and cultural backgrounds live together in Europe. The multitude of perspectives and experiences represents an enormous resource, but as cultural conflicts inherent in today's urban societies become visible, doubts are also raised about the value of diversity. [ more ]

1968: Beyond soixante-huite
Forty years on, the differences between the 1968 uprisings in western and eastern Europe move into ever sharper focus. "In retrospect, the great event of '68 in Europe was not Paris, but Prague. But we were unable to see this at the time." Including articles on '68 in Czechoslovakia, Poland, Russia, Ukraine, France and West Germany. [ more ]

Illiberal Europe?
Parliament or the soapbox? Populist politics are enjoying renewed success in Europe, above all in the former socialist countries. Ivan Krastev, G.M.Tamás, Ralf Dahrendorf, Jacques Rupnik and others investigate the rise of "democratic illiberalism". [ more ]

Cultural citizenship
The concept of cultural citizenship responds to the multicultural context of contemporary societies, in which the concern with equality is increasingly being complemented with a concern with difference. Contributors include Gerard Delanty, Axel Honneth, Rainer Bauböck, Ivaylo Ditchev, Charles Taylor, Rada Ivekovic, António Sousa Ribeiro. [ more ]

Decentring Europe
Any reinvention of the concept of Europe that takes into account the complexities inherent in Europe's place in a globalized world must contain a critique of Eurocentrism. Learning from the South, i.e. absorbing the full critical impact of alternative approaches may be a key element in the rethinking – and unthinking – of "Europe".[ more ]

The future of war
Are wars that are fought between nations a thing of the past, and are the future challenges more a case of ethnic strife, break-up of failed states, secession and civil wars? In a special focal point, Eurozine analyzes the changing face of warfare in the twenty-first century, in which terrorism and new security threats have profoundly transformed the way wars are conducted. [ more ]

The city as stage for social upheaval
From the western European city to the Third World megacity, one is able to observe how a single principle asserts itself in the social structure of the urban space. That principle – privatization – is geared towards the concentration of wealth and assets on an increasingly global scale, a manoeuvre its beneficiaries seek to naturalize. [ more ]

Big Brother goes global
Post 9/11, governments are increasingly tailoring "international standards" to ratify domestic policies that intrude on civil liberties. Welcome to the phenomenon of "policy laundering". [ more ]

Changing Europe
As political Europe turns 50, the questions about its future are as open as ever. A special focus featuring some of Eurozine's most outstanding contributions on the European project: From analyses of the current crisis to a hilarious parody of Brussels' literary ambitions. [ more ]

Post-secular Europe?
Is religion a public or a private matter? Can there be such a thing as a European Islam? If so, what characterizes it? What role can religion – or religions – play when it comes to the emergence of a European solidarity? [ more ]

Europe talks to Europe: Towards a European public sphere?
The European integration project has made the discussion about transnational spaces for cultural and political debate acute. Can there at all be a common Europe without a pan-European public sphere? [ more ]

Politics of border making and (cross-)border identities
Have borders become irrelevant with the project of a united Europe? No, just the opposite. On the dilemmas of border building and cross-border cooperation in the EU and its neighbourhood. [ more ]

Documenta 12 magazines
Eurozine is participating in the Documenta 12 magazines project, which links over 90 print and on-line periodicals worldwide. Read Eurozine's contributions to the documenta leitmotifs "Modernity" and "Bare Life" here.[ more ]

Freedom of speech and the Danish cartoon controversy
Free speech is a fundamental human right and a central tenet of democracy. Or is it? Reactions to the Danish cartoon controversy show that liberals are re-evaluating what the right to free speech entails. [ more ]

Politics of translation
Translation today is as much about the translation of cultural, political, and historical contexts and concepts as it is about language. [ more ]

 

Conferences

European histories
The 22nd European Meeting of Cultural Journals
Vilnius, 8-11 May 2009

Under the heading "European Histories", the 22nd European Meeting of Cultural Journals explored the role of history and memory in forming new identities in a Europe in change. [ more ]

crosswords X mots croisés
21st European Meeting of Cultural Journals
Paris, 26-29 September 2008

The 21st European Meeting of Cultural Journals 2008 in Paris explored the theme of multilingualism in Europe in terms of language policies, migration, translation and the European public sphere. Read the conference texts here. [ more ]

Changing places (What's normal anyway?)
The 20th European Meeting of Cultural Journals
Sibiu, 21-24 October 2007

Under the heading "Changing places (What's normal anyway?)", the Eurozine network conference 2007 in Sibiu, Romania, addressed the challenges facing societies, literature, and the media as the need for change meets the urge for normality. Read the conference texts here. [ more ]

Friend and foe. Shared space, divided society
The 19th European Meeting of Cultural Journals
London, 27-30 October 2006

Speakers at the 19th European Meeting of Cultural Journals opened up the discussion on cultural diversity in two directions: first, as it is experienced in the physical urban space, and second, as it is reflected in the mirror of the media. [ more ]

Neighbourhoods
The 18th European Meeting of Cultural Journals
Istanbul, 4-7 November 2005

Contributions on the notion of neighbourhood and the Turkey-Europe question from a range of intellectual and geographic perspectives. [ more ]

 

Eurozine BLOG

On the Eurozine BLOG you can follow and comment on all coverage of the Kyiv conference, "Ukraine: Thinking together", including daily updates from Eurozine editors.
CHeFred
Thinking in times of change

http://www.eurozine.com/blog/in-defence-of-freedom-of-expression/
There are both differences and similarities between the current events in Ukraine and the revolutions of 1989. In fact, the conference "Ukraine: Thinking Together" does have a predecessor: a meeting of eastern European intellectuals with their western counterparts that took place in Vienna in 1990. [more]

Focal points     click for more

Ukraine in focus

http://www.eurozine.com/comp/focalpoints/publicsphere.html
Ten years after the Orange Revolution, Ukraine is in the throes of yet another major struggle. Eurozine provides commentary on events as they unfold and further articles from the archive providing background to the situation in today's Ukraine. [more]

The ends of democracy

http://www.eurozine.com/comp/focalpoints/democracy.html
At a time when the global pull of democracy has never been stronger, the crisis of democracy has become acute. Eurozine has collected articles that make the problems of democracy so tangible that one starts to wonder if it has a future at all, as well as those that return to the very basis of the principle of democracy. [more]

Russia in global dialogue

http://www.eurozine.com/comp/focalpoints/eurocrisis.html
In the two decades after the end of the Cold War, intellectual interaction between Russia and Europe has intensified. It has not, however, prompted a common conversation. The focal point "Russia in global dialogue" seeks to fuel debate on democracy, society and the legacy of empire. [more]

The EU: Broken or just broke?

http://www.eurozine.com/comp/focalpoints/eurocrisis.html
Brought on by the global economic recession, the eurocrisis has been exacerbated by serious faults built into the monetary union. Contributors discuss whether the EU is not only broke, but also broken -- and if so, whether Europe's leaders are up to the task of fixing it. [more]

Time to Talk     click for more

Time to Talk, a network of European Houses of Debate, has partnered up with Eurozine to launch an online platform. Here you can watch video highlights from all TTT events, anytime, anywhere.
George Pagoulatos, Philippe Legrain
In the EU we (mis)trust: On the road to the EU elections

http://www.eurozine.com/timetotalk/in-the-eu-we-mistrust-on-the-road-to-the-eu-elections/
On 10 April, De Balie and the ECF jointly organized a public debate in Amsterdam entitled "In the EU we (mis)trust: On the road to the EU elections". Some of the questions raised: Which challenges does Europe face today? Which strategic choices need to be made? [more]

Support Eurozine     click for more

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Editor's choice     click for more

Dipesh Chakrabarty
The climate of history: Four theses

http://www.eurozine.com/articles/2009-10-30-chakrabarty-en.html
Freedom has been the most important motif of accounts of human history since the Enlightenment. Yet, only with the planetary crisis of climate change is an awareness now emerging of the geological agency human beings gained through processes linked to their acquisition of freedom. [more]

Literature     click for more

Olga Tokarczuk
A finger pointing at the moon

http://www.eurozine.com/articles/2014-01-16-tokarczuk-en.html
Our language is our literary destiny, writes Olga Tokarczuk. And "minority" languages provide a special kind of sanctuary too, inaccessible to the rest of the world. But, there again, language is at its most powerful when it reaches beyond itself and starts to create an alternative world. [more]

Piotr Kiezun, Jaroslaw Kuisz
Literary perspectives special: Witold Gombrowicz

http://www.eurozine.com/articles/2013-08-16-kuisz-en.html
The recent publication of the private diary of Witold Gombrowicz provides unparalleled insight into the life of one of Poland's great twentieth-century novelists and dramatists. But this is not literature. Instead: here he is, completely naked. [more]

Literary perspectives
The re-transnationalization of literary criticism

http://www.eurozine.com/comp/literaryperspectives.html
Eurozine's series of essays aims to provide an overview of diverse literary landscapes in Europe. Covered so far: Croatia, Sweden, Austria, Estonia, Ukraine, Northern Ireland, Slovenia, the Netherlands and Hungary. [more]

Debate series     click for more

Europe talks to Europe

http://www.eurozine.com/comp/europetalkstoeurope.html
Nationalism in Belgium might be different from nationalism in Ukraine, but if we want to understand the current European crisis and how to overcome it we need to take both into account. The debate series "Europe talks to Europe" is an attempt to turn European intellectual debate into a two-way street. [more]

Conferences     click for more

Eurozine emerged from an informal network dating back to 1983. Since then, European cultural magazines have met annually in European cities to exchange ideas and experiences. Around 100 journals from almost every European country are now regularly involved in these meetings.
Making a difference. Opinion, debate and activism in the public sphere
The 25th European Meeting of Cultural Journals
Oslo, 29 November - 2 December 2013

http://www.eurozine.com/comp/oslo2013.html
Under the heading "Making a difference. Opinion, debate and activism in the public sphere", the 2013 Eurozine conference focused on cultural and intellectual debate and the production of the public sphere. [more]

Multimedia     click for more

http://www.eurozine.com/comp/multimedia.html
Multimedia section including videos of past Eurozine conferences in Vilnius (2009) and Sibiu (2007). [more]


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