In an insane game of geopolitical musical chairs, some post-Soviet European states try to cast themselves as Central, although they don’t feel quite the same way about their neighbours. Why won’t they just identify with the East? A pair of reads from opposite ends of the Union offers fresh insight into the discourse of Central Europe.
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I was going to write a fiery editorial for Women’s Day about how the pandemic has eaten up women’s time and energy – but then I ended up homeschooling instead.
The debate over whether a white person should translate the work of a black poet draws attention to the lack of diversity in the literary sector, but it also raises questions about the very concept of translation. Simon Garnett re-reads António Sousa Ribeiro’s seminal work on inter-translatability.
Yet another independent outlet is slain in Hungary: Klubrádió just lost its broadcast license, resuming a decade-long campaign to silence the channel. Journalists march on, hoping for a lengthy legal battle to do them justice in the end. They have accommodated pressure, but their defiance comes at a high price.
According to AstraZeneca, the EU is demanding preferential treatment in the supply of the coronavirus vaccine. And according to the EU, restrictions on the export of the vaccine are all about accountability. There are reasons to be sceptical about both claims.
The US is facing a twisted, belligerent reality: rioters brazenly revealed their identity in an unmasked raid on the Capitol; the ‘Save America’ rally undermined the constitutional process; and incitement came from the person at the very top of the institutions being debased. All while COVID-19 is on the rise as America’s deadliest threat.
Carving a way out of this gruesome year
Next year will be tough. Calendar cycles don’t solve anything. We need to tackle multiple crises and come to terms with our losses, both personal and social. Yet overcoming is always rooted in the firm belief that something else is possible. And not only that: it’s also ours to make.
The sex-party scandal around Fidesz MEP József Szájer has brought undeniable entertainment. But this is far from being a case of hypocrisy meeting its comeuppance. Orbán’s grey eminence fell from grace and into ridicule, but will not be held accountable for his much darker deeds.
As local journalism disappears, polls replace knowledge about communities. Is this one reason why politics seems increasingly unpredictable? Also: why subscription content is making a comeback in central eastern Europe – and what that might mean for cultures of impartiality.
This year’s Eurozine conference is taking place online. Those suffering from Zoom fatigue need not worry: we will be providing our followers with a combination of condensed conversation, exciting speakers and open debate. Because now, more than ever, we need to cut through the noise.
Long spared the experiences of Paris, Brussels, London and Berlin, it had been tempting to consider Vienna exempt. This was partly because IS had treated Austria as a safe haven rather than a target. But part of it was an unwillingness to look too closely.
‘Fascism’ has entered America’s political lexicon as way to understand and oppose the rise of the far-right. Trump’s polemics against the left have also propelled the label ‘antifascism’ into the mainstream. But are we really seeing a US fascism? What baggage does the concept of ‘antifascism’ carry? And what are we doing when we invoke Weimar?
Corporate capture of the media by the state is not just an eastern European speciality, nor does it take place in an economic vacuum. The 31st European Meeting of Cultural Journals will be focusing on how political interference and market pressure are threatening independent publishing in Europe today.
Some additions to the use of the current lingua franca
Can language be separated from its users? Who owns English, when everybody needs to learn it?
Can we use the f-word of history? Why understanding precisely what one is opposing will help dissent; how the trauma of WWII helped blur the European colonial past; and history in the making in Belarus.
Where can we turn if our social networks, structures and governance can’t be trusted? Cancel culture, disinformation and the lack of boundaries define our perception. Geert Lovink, Eliot Higgins and Matilda Amundsen Bergström provide some welcome thoughts on solidarity overcoming abuses of power.