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.
Réka Kinga Papp
is editor-in-chief of Eurozine since November 2018.
Papp is a Hungarian journalist, author and broadcaster, specialising in environmental, social and human rights issues. She published a book on sex work and prostitution in 2017: Aki kurvának áll: szexmunka sztorik (Once You Enrol As a Whore: Sex Work Stories, Kossuth 2017). Her corresponding article, The Bangkok of Europe was published in Eurozine. in
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.
Discussing ‘The Legacy of division: Europe after 1989’ with the curators
Was it foolish to expect Europe to unite after the Iron Curtain fell? What kept the wounds from healing? Talking the post-Communist heritage in Gagarin, the Eurozine podcast.
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?
Does the comfort of the quarantined consumer outweigh the life and safety of the slaughterhouse workers who cannot afford to stay home? The recent coronavirus outbreaks in meat processing plants pose a dreadful question.
The US has no monopoly on under-serving and over-policing minorities. Police brutality is reported from the French suburbs to the Bulgarian countryside, and neo-Nazi resurgence is threatening European Roma in Hungary and Ukraine. Europeans must not wait for another horrific murder to draw attention to our own systemic racism.
Ágnes Heller, Krzysztof Michalski, Miriam Rasch and the wisdom we borrow
Dataism is the new positivism, promising to make humans more effective. But we’ve seen horrific attempts at perfecting humans before. Instead, we need a better understanding of differences, and the wisdom that lies in the love of life.
While the rest of Europe is trying to keep citizens from mass economic ruin, the Hungarian government uses the coronavirus for another power grab, also coming down on theatres and transgender people. Orbán knows he can get away with it because he offers a key political product.
Decades of cuts to public health are now exposed as the spread of the coronavirus overwhelms the system. Europe has been lucky to observe hurricanes, floods and plagues of the past decades from afar, but geography or wealth doesn’t safeguard us from epidemics. How we treat our least powerful now will be telling about what we can hope for.
Eurozine podcast part 2: Local journalism in the digital age
Globalization was supposed to connect people but instead ended up connecting the powerful. Local news is rapidly disappearing, a side-effect of digitalization and the ownership concentration in media markets. In an age of technological changes and political pressure, niche publications and a renaissance of zines lead the quest for new, sustainable models in publishing.
Speculation may not be the best approach in a trial, but it can be useful for making sense of seemingly nonsensical events happened the way they did. Our authors try their luck in explaining new authoritarianism, the loneliness of online socializing, and women’s advancement in politics.
The joker, the trickster and the prankster
A vaudeville figure has been reinstated to lead Britain through Brexit, while in the US a reality-tv star is being impeached for trying to blackmail a comedian in Ukraine. Comedy seems to have taken over the wheel in political leadership. But the quality of this entertainment varies greatly.
The share economy, although originally built on the logic of mutual help, has been weaponized by monopolistic enterprises to foster precarity, gentrification and political deception. But this doesn’t mean that trading in goodwill was a bad idea in the first place. Eurozine is the proof itself.
An interview with Ivan Krastev on ’89 and the end of liberal hegemony
Ivan Krastev and Stephen Holmes argue that illiberalism in central eastern Europe today is part of a global contestation of western liberal hegemony. In an interview with Eurozine, Krastev elaborates on this thesis, discussing what happened to the hopes of ’89, why dissidence cannot be equated with anti-capitalism or even liberalism, and why explaining the new authoritarianism as a backlash against the ‘imitation imperative’ is not to trivialize its ideological substance.
Five years ago, Malala Yousafzai was listed among the most influential teenagers in the world. Her position is now contested by climate activist Greta Thunberg. Thankfully, they don’t compete with each other for fame. They do, however, challenge assumptions about what can and cannot be done in politics. Especially by girls.
Media professionals often engage in a collective hysteria. They complain about their loss of authority, signalling a deep unwillingness to take responsibility for our trade’s failures and, often, complicity. And yet, the ‘post-truth era’ is not a death toll of journalism, but the signal of a necessary change.