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.
Read more than 6000 articles in 35 languages from over 90 cultural journals and associates.
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.
The feminist cause is the cause of civilization and, at the same time, is now a cultural trend, writes Aloma Rodríguez. She calls on us to embrace its heterogeneity: there is – and should be – room for many different points of view to co-exist.
Oleg Sentsov’s hunger strike has reached a critical stage. Sentsov is calling for the release of all Ukrainians imprisoned in Russia on political grounds. The human rights initiative OVD-Info, in collaboration with the Memorial Centre, has compiled documentation on the 88 prisoners, most of whom are from Crimea.
China’s digital Social Credit Systems operate a form of gamified control, rewarding users while rating them according to online and offline behaviour. By 2020, the Chinese government plans to introduce a nationwide system. Western observers are appalled, but are our own social media essentially all that different?
Online debate and the rules of interaction
Critique of social media tends to focus on the content of online discourse, particularly the impacts of fake news and hate speech. But how do social media platforms themselves determine interaction, and how can users adapt to default functionalities in the interests of constructive debate?
The ties between liberalism and democracy are under strain, challenged by self-styled illiberal ideologues from Budapest to Washington DC, and by the liberal-economic but undemocratic example of China. Romanian economist Daniel Dăianu makes the case for liberalism, and why it is worth fighting for if democracy is to thrive.