We moved office last week. We’ve had to contend with literal tons of physical memory from Eurozine’s almost forty-year history, and are yet to unpack it. It can either be a new beginning or a hibernation plan.
Réka Kinga Papp
is editor-in-chief at Eurozine since November 2018.
Papp is a journalist specializing in environmental, social and human rights issues, author of a book on sex work and prostitution in Hungary, Aki kurvának áll: szexmunka sztorik (Once You Enrol As a Whore: Sex Work Stories, Kossuth 2017). She anchored Hungarian speaking social science infotainment radio programme Professzor Paprika (2015-19) on Klubrádió’s broadcast and indie political YouTube show Feles (2017-18).
Excruciating pain and paralytic numbness alternate in an inhuman rhythm. As Ukrainian artists struggle to overcome exhausted tropes of warfare and martyrdom, others consider what it will take to bring the perpetrators to justice. But moral reckoning is an even more complicated business.
It would have taken a miracle for Viktor Orbán to lose the election. Hungary is a fortified kleptocracy where the ruling party has captured the state and controls 80% of the media. It certainly didn’t help that the opposition’s campaign failed to deliver a post-illiberal vision.
Clinging to his nukes, Putin will only lose power if his own turn on him. It’s hard to predict when, if ever, the leaders he has humiliated and threatened into submission will do the basic calculus and find that obeying the tyrant will inevitably cost way more than defiance.
The crisis has caught up with us, and now we’re asking our readers to invest in Eurozine to help us get through an exceptionally lean year in 2022. Eurozine has been offering outstanding content for free for over 20 years. Your support is crucial to maintaining this work and we are offering exclusive articles, recordings, events and merch to our patrons.
Endemic: focal point editorial
New COVID-19 variants keep the international public anxious, and this crisis, permeating all social, economic and political spheres, isn’t even in full bloom yet. Although impossible to contain, it also highlights many potential solutions, which had been lying around for a long time without the political will to act upon them. In gearing up for the much bigger turmoil of an ecological nature, we need to stop concentrating on global centres of power, and give more credit to young motivated people.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, learning and teaching have come under additional strain both at school and in the home, exacerbating existing weaknesses in the system. How to move forward – to diminish rather than increase inequality, to question the labour market’s hold over education and to uphold academic freedom — is critical for students, parents, teachers and society as a whole.
Journalism is steadily becoming less and less liveable, due to structural problems and political interference. From heroic poses to varying degrees of denial, each professional develops their own individual strategies to cope with sustained pressure.
Since his return to power in 2010, Viktor Orbán has meticulously unravelled the rule of law and media pluralism, while holding the EU at bay. A short history of a decade’s attacks on the free press in Hungary.
Debates on Europe: Budapest & Beyond
As a historian his expectations are gloomy, but as a political writer his optimism is strategic: Timothy Garton Ash talks about the European Union’s internal flaws and debates whether crises and collapses are always necessary for renewal.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Hungarian values and how to misunderstand them
Post-Socialist baggage is sometimes still blamed for Hungarians’ support for an illiberal supermajority. But can a society be expected to democratize when its social institutions have been subjected to decades of attrition?
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.