Faced with government inaction on climate change, young people are increasingly engaging in civil disobedience. For those as yet unable to vote, the act of collectively removing the French president’s portraits from town halls is strikingly symbolic. Are such interventions a youthful rejection of politics or a new form of civic engagement?
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Black identity in Germany
For many, place of birth is an identity keystone. That first point of arrival seems assured, an irrefutable fact. But there are those made to feel foreign in their home country. Race, often seen as evidence of difference, forces many Black people to undertake personal journeys into identity politics.
Dissenting voices of Islam on social media
Jihadist attacks have sent sporadic tremors through European societies for over 25 years. The ferocity of terrorist acts has also stunned Muslim communities. Now social networking provides a platform for dissenting Islamic voices critical of cultural and religious norms that fail to counter violent radicalisation or serve to indulge it.
Autocrats and nationalists behind Euro 2020
World sporting events intrinsically emphasize national allegiance. When real-life rivalries mix with on-pitch competition, football, the ‘beautiful game’, can quickly turn ugly. With various leaders investing heavily to rank up populist points for political gain, who might be the ultimate winners behind any fanaticism once the postponed championships kick off?
Vaccine nationalism and Cold War tropes abound
Russia’s COVID-19 vaccine could be one of the most effective jabs available. Yet, its media coverage in the West has revived Cold War stereotypes. Vladimir Putin has also triggered suspicions. Nevertheless, the medical legacy from the Soviet era has prepared researchers precisely for such emergencies.
Last-minute negotiations in Israel have secured the agreement of rival ideological parties on a coalition that could finally oust Benjamin Netanyahu. The prime minister will now face a vote of confidence with a far-right replacement ready. Behind the recent escalation of violence between Israelis and Palestinians lies a history desperately in need of careful resolution.
Let’s respect our foremothers: new focal point
Traditionally, young women used to be presented with goods as a send off into adult life. Today’s bottom drawers aren’t necessarily tied to marriage, nor are they strictly material. Yet, the bundle one leaves the house with is as important now as ever. In this focal point, we take stock of the notions our foremothers presented us with: women’s ideas and achievements that define our understanding of power, gender and violence, bodies, identity and agency.
An origin story
Lesbian identities have an established place as herstory within feminism and queer history. But what must the young 1970s scholar’s archival and personal experiences, following an article on love and ritual, discovering women’s accounts of their own lives for the first time, have been like?
The radicalisation of the Lukašenka regime
With the abduction of a passenger flight, the Belarusian regime gave up the last remains of its connections to democratic partners. Sanctions may break Lukašenka’s reign economically, but they also take a huge toll on civilians. International attention is fickle, but certain types of support may help in the long run.
Podcast: Vaccines in West Africa and whiteness in the East of Europe
How is whiteness constructed and why is it so fragile? What’s at stake in discussing colonial memory for eastern Europeans? Do they actually eat a lot of cabbage?
Interactive education has become essential in the classroom. But didactic teaching methods seem to have resurfaced through interactive media delivery. The consequent loss of engagement affects attendance: data suggests that almost a third of Italian pupils have disappeared from lessons during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Invocations of ‘never again’ often overlook the recent history of genocide, particularly in Europe, with Srebrenica serving as a case in point. Such histories are increasingly being forgotten, marginalized or politically instrumentalized, but Jasmila Žbanić’s film ‘Quo Vadis, Aida?’ sifts through the contested memories and competing narratives to remind us of war’s devastating human effects.
Not all standards may be inherently good. Cultural debate, when healthy, should question social norms. But what occurs when one person’s political correctness becomes another’s political weapon? And how can a positive position be struck in the battles over diversity and racism?
Former communist prisons in Russia, Lithuania, Poland and Belarus have become contested public spaces of memory. With buildings in various states of disrepair or neglect, the redevelopment of several is now being considered. But can they realistically function as both sites of remembrance and mixed-use spaces that look to the past and future simultaneously?
Countries bordering Russia are subject to both the neoimperialist drive and military force behind Vladimir Putin’s Eurasian Union project. His expansionist aspirations mirror past Russian advances in Europe that questioned national identity. Many Kremlin-connected political analysts are currently advocating an isolationist position. What might be the upshot of Vadim Tsymbursky’s previously ignored, now vogue geopolitical thinking?
Watch the discussion of authors and curators #EMCJ31
What is racism against eastern Europeans? And what did Viktor Orbán learn from Slavoj Žižek?