Ukraine seems to be more dedicated to European unity than the EU itself. And despite the Kremlin’s best attempts to isolate Russians, a tipping point is inevitable. Until then, we must support cultural workers – their presence is crucial for meaningful change, argues André Wilkens on the podcast.
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Bulgaria’s reformist government gets tough on corruption
Kiril Petkov’s reformist government in Bulgaria has just clocked in four months in power. Amidst low vaccination coverage, Russian influence, and an ongoing war on corruption, there are few reasons to celebrate, aside from the fact there is a government at all.
The Ukrainians trapped underground in besieged Mariupol steel works were instructed to wave white flags. They face a warring nation whose people once suffered a crippling war of extermination themselves. What can the present-day memorialization of the Siege of Leningrad tell us about Russia’s heroic self-image?
Night workers’ voices from the UK and Romania
Though essential to the functioning of key infrastructures and services, night workers face additional layers of precarity to their daytime counterparts. Their testimonies from London and Oradea convey a deep sense of insecurity, exacerbated by Brexit and the pandemic.
When communism beat smallpox
The response of the Yugoslav state to the smallpox epidemic in Kosovo in 1972 was mandatory nationwide vaccination. Although the campaign was conducted under martial law, the population played along. Fifty years later, vaccination rates in the former Yugoslavia are among the lowest in Europe.
South Africa is fighting to keep girls in school
In most provinces of South Africa, teen pregnancies have more than doubled during the pandemic, and the police often fail to follow up on statutory rape cases. Many schoolgirls have been cornered by the lack of digital tools, exposed to blackmail and exploitation at the hands of those they asked for help so they could participate in online learning.
Belarusian and Ukrainian intellectuals have been applying postcolonial theory to Russia since the 1990s. But they have largely been ignored in the West. Now it is time to listen to those voices from the ‘borderlands’.
The exodus of 150k Belarusians since 2020 is the latest in a series of emigration waves to the West beginning in the 19th century. Each new wave has politicized the diaspora and plays a vital role in communicating the democratic demands of the Belarusian people.
How fractures have widened this far in Bosnia
Germany just pressured the Kremlin-backed Serbian minority leaders to momentarily withdraw some of their separatist ambitions by threatening to cancel funding. But the federal state’s constitution codifies political segregation, and leaves minorities without representation, a structural problem whose solution Republika Srpska is actively sabotaging.
Contemporary art and the environment
The global trade in fossil-fuels is proving to be far from simple business. In Norway, which almost entirely generates its internal electricity supply from renewable sources, oil has become dirty laundry. But what can turn national embarrassment into real change? Can art as comment apply just the right amount of social pressure?
Post-Soviet migrants in Germany and war in Ukraine
War polarizes debate. And the sympathies of post-Soviet migrants living in Central Europe have come under extra scrutiny since war broke out in Ukraine. A closer look at the immigrant demographic in Germany reveals a more complicated picture of suspected Russophilia.
Sônia Guajajara in discussion with Fronesis
Speaking out about capitalism’s ‘accumulation by dispossession’ – the desperate need to stop the industrial-sized devastation of rainforests, directly affecting Brazilian indigenous people, indirectly affecting everyone.
For Ukrainians, this uneven battle is about the survival of their nation. However, it is also about the future of democracy in Europe as a whole. The unprecedented act of collective solidarity at the EU border proves the resilience of civil society in the face of Putin’s challenge.
With the first round of French elections fast approaching, opinion polls suggest a close contest at the top. So how has Le Pen managed to overcome the impact of new far-right contender Zemmour? And what might this mean for Macron’s centrist politics and the future of the Left, including the Greens?
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.
In true Stalinist manner, Russian culture is being weaponized in the war against Ukraine. But instead of cancelling great Russian writers, we should read them with a critical eye – just like other European classics.