Essays | Eurozine

During the Crimea crisis, Ukrainian filmmaker, writer and Maidan activist Oleg Sentsov took part in distributing food to Ukrainian soldiers blockaded by Russian troops. He was arrested in Crimea in May 2014 and taken to Russia, where he was sentenced in 2015 to twenty years in prison on terrorism charges. In a short biographical piece, published in German translation in ‘Transit’ and republished here, Sentsov recalls his first exposure to official corruption during his schooldays. Sentsov has been on hunger strike since 14 May to campaign for the release of the approximately 70 Ukrainian political prisoners held on the territory of the Russian Federation.

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In 2008, Belgian journal ‘La Revue Nouvelle’ published an interview with Arkady Babchenko, in which he explained why his experience of serving in the Russian army in Chechnya had motivated him to become a war reporter. In light of Babchenko’s recent staged murder, in order to foil a genuine assassination plot, the interview makes for chilling reading.

Much of the language used in corporations is meaningless. What’s more, it is meaningless by design. Bullshit can be profoundly dangerous and make people despair – but it can also help them make their way in the world, reports André Spicer.

May 2018 marks thirty years since an event of central importance to Lithuanian culture: the National Youth Theatre’s month-long American tour. Taking place as Lithuania began to shake loose of Soviet control, it was the first commercial tour of the USA by any group of professional artists from Lithuania – and further reinforced the legend of the theatre’s enigmatic star, director Eimuntas Nekrošius.

Magazines played an important role in German feminist discussion of the 1970s and ’80s. Among them, ‘Die Schwarze Botin’ stood out for its formal radicalism and intellectual originality. Critical of apolitical and affirmative tendencies in the women’s movement, it saw itself as a site both of theoretical reflection and of aesthetic experimentation. Katharina Lux on a forgotten document of New Left feminism.

In 2014 Ukraine suddenly became a major focus of the western radical Left. The subsequent degree of overlap between radical-left and far-right interpretations and activities of the events in Ukraine has been striking. How to explain this? A good place to start, argues Kyrylo Tkachenko, is Germany.

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Prominent advocates of life-hacking – self-optimization through the lessons of computer programming – have started promoting Bitcoin. Noam Cohen, author of Silicon Valley exposé ‘The Know-It-Alls’, explains why: ‘Bitcoin is the ultimate financial-hack, an individualistic short-cut through the intrusions of government we call regulation and taxation.’

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