In moments of crisis, reflecting on loss can be especially hard. Philosopher Krzysztof Michalski’s meditation on an unexpected death lends gravitas to universal questions of belief, awareness and fear in times of transition.
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The recent embarrassment of the ‘New York Times’ over its story on Kremlin-orchestrated disinformation on US health science felt like the nail in the coffin of the ‘all roads lead to Putin’ narrative. Common sense now says that the new propaganda thrives best under democratic conditions.
The cultural journal’s perspective
Ever since the 2008 crisis, cultural journals have been facing increasing financial, political and market pressures. Ann Ighe reviews the issues affecting Eurozine partner journal editors who met funding representatives on what became the eve of European COVID-19 lockdowns.
‘I just love how storytelling is empowering and that it shows how similar we are, how much we have in common.’ Rasha Shaaban, Egyptian feminist and cultural activist based in Gothenburg, talks about the role of intercultural dialogue in making ‘other Europes’ visible.
How to transcend the climate change culture war
Climate change policy has become part of the culture wars where polarization stifles progress. Greenpeace UK’s Will McCallum surveys Britain’s role and demands a flexible approach.
In the months before the corona pandemic, the BBC had been battling for its political survival under a constant barrage of criticism. Then, as the crisis hit and ratings for news services rose, the government’s anti-BBC rhetoric started to disappear. Has the emergency changed attitudes to the broadcaster?
Disinformation is not always ideologically motivated. On the contrary, most fake news websites serve primarily to make money. The disinformation economy relies heavily on Facebook and Google Ads, a report on five eastern European countries shows.
Algerian journalists and the Hirak
For many journalists at Radio Algérienne, the broadcaster’s failure to cover the Hirak protests last year was the final straw. Thirty years after Algeria had formally adopted a multi-party system, its public media remained no freer than they had been during the days of the FLN.
For the novelist Nirmal Verma (1929–2005), Prague was the gateway to a European sensibility that bypassed the English language. Even after his ‘homecoming’ in the 1970s and growing interest in Indian identity, European culture and literature remained central to Verma’s work.
The first month of the pandemic in the US
The Trump administration’s failing response to COVID-19 has prompted governors and mayors to step up and even form shadow federations to coordinate their efforts. Lifelong New Yorker George Blecher reflects on the first phase of the coronavirus crisis in the US.
Sensationalism has focused on fistfights over toilet rolls, but the real story is the withdrawal of democratic oversight, and how little public resistance there is to the declaration of martial law. Power granted is power conceded; and power relinquished is power reclaimed with difficulty.
The coronavirus pandemic took the spotlight from the refugee crisis on the Greek border with Turkey in early March long before a political solution could be reached. Now, the two situations have merged into a poly-crisis.
COVID-19 in a polarized Ukraine
The Ukrainian government’s pandemic response has got dramatically different reviews. The Zelensky administration declared a strict lockdown early on and has mobilized big business, enjoying wide popular support, but anti-corruption activists and established intellectuals remain suspicious. Nataliya Gumenyuk asks who to trust.
The dangerous pandemic in the social sciences
COVID-19 found societies not only unprepared but also unaware. Koray Caliskan and Donald MacKenzie ask why social sciences have taken so little interest in pathogens. In comparing humans and viruses, they reveal the risks of an overly anthropocentric focus. Perhaps it’s time to rewrite the books?
Curtailing the freedom of movement in times of coronavirus
Overwhelmed and underserved camps are in no condition to prevent COVID-19 outbreaks. The European Union’s response so far is falling short in protecting refugees from the pandemic. The Eurozine miniseries reviews recent restrictions on mobility.
Refugees on Greek islands during the coronavirus crisis
Social distancing is impossible when 1200 people share a single tap. The Greek government is using the pandemic to segregate refugees from citizens but hasn’t provided the means for prevention. If this politics of abandonment continues, grossly overcrowded camps will become death traps. The Eurozine miniseries reports from Greece.