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Changing places (What's normal anyway?)
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Changing places (What's normal, anyway?)

20th European Meeting of Cultural Journals, Sibiu, 21-24 September 2007

Conference The "revolution to normality" was a crucial metaphor of 1989 and beyond. Yet, as speakers at the 2007 Eurozine conference pointed out, the slogan bears more emotive force than conceptual clarity. Today's eastern Europe is a changing place; traditionally, too, it has produced émigré writers who "changed place". Where better than Sibiu, Romania, to discuss "writing in exile?" [ more ]


opening address

Mircea Vasilescu

Normality or normalities?

From one transition to the next

What's normal, anyway? For eastern Europeans, the myth of a free and prosperous West, of western normality, has been replaced by the observation of normalities, writes Mircea Vasilescu. Having joined the EU, Romanians are discovering that the West has problems by no means as exotic as they once believed. [ more ]


Normality: The obscure object of desire?

Alexander Kiossev

The oxymoron of normality

Normality: The obscure object of desire? "Normality" has been close to the hearts of eastern Europeans during transition. Yet a comparative history of the concept in eastern and western Europe reveals meanings that are multiple, changeable, even oxymoronic. [ more ]

Elena Trubina

Practising owning and fearing losing

Normality as materiality

Normality: The obscure object of desire? Transitional narratives of "then and now" omit a central attribute of "normality" that existed during socialism: materiality. It was eastern Europeans' experience of being owners and makers of things that has ensured the continuity of experience. [ more ]

Catalin Avramescu

Abnormals of all nations, unite!

On the exceptionality of political liberty

Normality: The obscure object of desire? Can democratic constitutions be called "normal"? Not according to political philosophers from the classical period to the nineteenth century. Today, the ubiquitous misuse of democratic institutions renders the exemplary constitution as abnormal as ever. [ more ]


Writing in Exile

Zinovy Zinik

Anyone at home?

In pursuit of one's own shadow

Writing in exile Zinovy Zinik traces the history of the shadow as metaphor for exile through Evgeni Shwartz's play "The Shadow" back to earlier fables by Hans Christian Andersen and Adelbert von Chamisso. The sum effect: a web of émigré biographies and fictions spanning two centuries. [ more ]

Chenjerai Hove

A journey without maps

Writing in exile Chenjerai Hove left Zimbabwe after falling foul of the Mugabe government. Here he recalls two incidents typical of the censorship that forced him into internal exile; and how, in exile outside his home country, he discovered new creative perspectives. [ more ]

Seloua Luste Boulbina

Being inside and outside simultaneously

Exile, literature, and the postcolony: On Assia Djebar

Writing in exile The writing of Assia Djebar turns the tables on the postcolonist, so that the question now is not, "Can the subaltern speak and write?", but "Can the non-subaltern listen and read?" [ more ]


Closing speech

Slavenka Drakulic

Bathroom tales

How we mistook normality for paradise

What's normal, anyway? The shortage of toilet paper alone may not have brought down communism, but it's an apt metaphor for a system unable to fulfil people's basic needs. Although Slavenka Drakulic's bathroom is better stocked these days, she's still prone to doubt. Was the normality she and her fellow eastern Europeans longed for just another false paradise? [ more ]


More focal points

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, ZŸrich... 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?
Social agreement about the necessity of radical ecological change may be unprecedented, yet rhetoric and reality go their separate ways. As ambitions for a legally-binding agreement at the Copenhagen recede, serious doubts arise about the efficacy of multilateral climate deals and the assumptions behind cap-and-trade.[ more ]

Media landscapes
Those in central and eastern Europe who in '89 took the commitment to free expression seriously, who saw the media as the handmaiden of democracy and the conventional watchdog on political and commercial power, today have become targets for new and subtler forms of censorship.[ more ]

Dilemma 89
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". '89 not only historic moment of liberation, but also political and social dilemma for the present day.[ 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.Tam‡s, 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 Baubšck, Ivaylo Ditchev, Charles Taylor, Rada Ivekovic, Ant—nio 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 ]

European histories: Towards a grand narrative?
In order for there to be solidarity within the enlarged EU, it will be necessary to develop a broader historical consciousness that includes both western and eastern experiences. [ 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 ]



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 ]

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 ]


Focal points     click for more

The politics of privacy
The Snowden leaks and the ensuing NSA scandal made the whole world debate privacy and data protection. Now the discussion has entered a new phase - and it's all about policy. A focal point on the politics of privacy: claiming a European value. [more]

Beyond Fortress Europe
The fate of migrants attempting to enter Fortress Europe has triggered a new European debate on laws, borders and human rights. A focal point featuring reportage alongside articles on policy and memory. With contributions by Fabrizio Gatti, Seyla Benhabib and Alessandro Leogrande. [more]

Russia in global dialogue
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]

Ukraine in focus
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]

Eurozine BLOG

On the Eurozine BLOG, editors and Eurozine contributors comment on current affairs and events. What's behind the headlines in the world of European intellectual journals?
Victor Tsilonis
Greek bailout referendum, Euro Summit, Germope
Victor Tsilonis of "Intellectum" (Greece) comments on recent developments in the Greek crisis: the short-lived euphoria of the 5 July referendum, Alexis Tsipras's subsequent "mental waterboarding", and the outlook for a German-led Europe. [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.
Neda Deneva, Constantina Kouneva, Irina Nedeva and Yavor Siderov
Does migration intensify distrust in institutions?
How do migration and institutional mistrust relate to one another? As a new wave of populism feeds on and promotes fears of migration, aggrandising itself through the distrust it sows, The Red House hosts a timely debate with a view to untangling the key issues. [more]

Support Eurozine     click for more

If you appreciate Eurozine's work and would like to support our contribution to the establishment of a European public sphere, see information about making a donation.

Vacancies at Eurozine     click for more

There are currently no positions available.

Editor's choice     click for more

Timothy Snyder
Europe and Ukraine: Past and future
The history of Ukraine has revealed the turning points in the history of Europe. Prior to Ukraine's presidential elections in May 2014, Timothy Snyder argued cogently as to why Ukraine has no future without Europe; and why Europe too has no future without Ukraine. [more]

Literature     click for more

Karl Ove Knausgård
Out to where storytelling does not reach
To write is to write one's way through the preconceived and into the world on the other side, to see the world as children can, as fantastic or terrifying, but always rich and wide-open. Karl Ove Knausgård on creating literature. [more]

Jonathan Bousfield
Growing up in Kundera's Central Europe
Jonathan Bousfield talks to three award-winning novelists who spent their formative years in a Central Europe that Milan Kundera once described as the kidnapped West. It transpires that small nations may still be the bearers of important truths. [more]

Literary perspectives
The re-transnationalization of literary criticism
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
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.
Law and Border. House Search in Fortress Europe
The 26th European Meeting of Cultural Journals
Conversano, 3-6 October 2014
Eurozine's 2014 conference in southern Italy, not far from Lampedusa, addressed both EU refugee and immigration policies and intellectual partnerships across the Mediterranean. Speakers included Italian investigative journalist Fabrizio Gatti and Moroccan feminist and Nobel Peace Prize nominee Rita El Khayat. [more]

Multimedia     click for more
Multimedia section including videos of past Eurozine conferences in Vilnius (2009) and Sibiu (2007). [more]

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