From the 1970s, communitarian notions of self and society gave way to concepts of autonomous, rights-based individuality. In today’s backlash, we see the return of the politics of solidarity. As politics becomes marketized, however, the more likely prospect is further disaggregation, suggests historian of ideas Daniel T. Rodgers.
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Resistance is a word inextricably linked to historical anti-fascism. So can it be used to describe opposition to contemporary authoritarianisms? Yes, argues Claus Leggewie: wherever the foundations of democracy are being undermined, the history of resistance teaches us how to respond.
Official Belarusian culture is a relic of Soviet conservatism. Beneath the surface, however, a European movement in the arts is gathering momentum. It is only a matter of time before the new Belarusian culture reaches an international audience, writes art historian and novelist Victor Martinovich.
The making of a European journals network
What started thirty-five years ago as an informal meeting of European editors became the basis for Eurozine, founded in 1998 as an online cultural journal and editorial network. One of Eurozine’s original goals – to offer print journals a gateway to digital publishing – has long been realized. Another goal, however, remains a work in progress: to act as a plural forum for transnational European debate. Two of Eurozine’s founding editors reflect on the evolution of the project.
The great Polish poet and novelist Zbigniew Herbert was an ‘aesthetic dissident’ during communism whose frequent travelling was a form of escape. He became a figurehead of Solidarity yet was forgotten after 1989. Ukrainian poet Andriy Lyubka on Herbert’s life and the revival of interest in his work.
For Oksana Forostyna, memories of Maidan mingle with accounts of her grandmother’s life in Kyiv before and during World War Two. Recollections of her own search for happiness in her adoptive city lead to more universal questions about the possibility of freedom and love amidst conflict and war.
If art wants to intervene in politics, it must democratize. Curator and politician Veronica Kaup-Hasler talks to Slovene journal Dialogi about her experiments in participatory artistic practice, about cultural policy and the balancing of conflicting interests, and about why the politicization of cultural funding can be bad for art.
Whether or not crypto-currencies deserve the hype, the hope remains that they can lead to more solidary forms of economy. Crypto has come to stay and, with a US debt crisis looming, may at some point become the more popular option.
The Fascist regime laid the foundations of contemporary football in Italy, however its influence was not profound enough to explain the far-right’s existence in stadiums since the 1980s. The far-right’s presence in Italian football has instead been a direct consequence of the weakness of the post-war state.
Viktor Orbán’s ‘total offensive’ on culture
In the pursuit of cultural hegemony, Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz government has carried out a full-scale assault on the Hungarian cultural establishment, taking over funding bodies, defaming critics and putting loyalists in positions of influence. The result today is almost total conformity to the Hungarian nationalism of Fidesz and the sidelining of independent culture.
An interview with Yasha Levine
‘Everything that we’ve been sold about the democratic nature of the internet has always been a marketing pitch.’ Yasha Levine on the military origins of the internet, on data modelling and technocratic government, and why the Cambridge Analytica scandal was good for Facebook.
Earlier this month, Romania’s PSD-led government succeeded in having the country’s leading anti-corruption prosecutor fired, and then launched a violent crackdown on street demonstrations that had been going on for more than 20 months. Roland Clark surveys the fractured state of Romania’s democracy.
Historian Yuri Slezkine in conversation with ‘Rīgas Laiks’ editor Uldis Tirons
Moscow’s House on the Embankment was home to many of the first generation of Russian revolutionaries. Historian Yuri Slezkine, who has written the definitive account of the building, describes how it embodied the lives, hopes and fate of the Soviet project and its elite.
A 30-hour train journey from Vienna to Moscow offers the chance to connect with the Russian past: contraband, bribery and all. Alexei Korolyov returns to the place of his birth.
Fifty years ago, Warsaw Pact forces led by the Red Army invaded Czechoslovakia. The socialist reforms of the Prague Spring were suppressed and Czechoslovakia was subjected to more than 20 years of stultifying ‘normalization’ under Soviet occupation. Revisiting his essay of 10 years ago, Ukrainian writer Mykola Riabchuk explains why his solidarity with the victims endures.
Surveying Russia’s geography of difficult pasts
The memory of Stalin’s Terror is now receiving more attention in Russia than at any time since the 1980s. However, the scope of the debate needs to be widened still further, argues Daria Khlevnyuk.