International conference: Central European Forum 2009
Bratislava, 17 and 18 November 2009
Eurozine is a media partner of the Central European Forum, an international conference open to the public taking place in Bratislava on 17 and 18 November 2009 at the Hviezdoslav Theatre, Laurinská 20.
Participants include: Ales Debeljak, Slavenka Drakulic, Miklos Haraszti, Vaclav Havel, Ágnes Heller, Viktor Jerofejev, György Konrád, Ivan Krastev, Robert Menasse, Adam Michnik, Marci Shore, Ingo Schulze, Timothy Snyder, Andrej Stasiuk and Martin Simecka.
“We believe that the best way of preventing the anniversary of the Velvet Revolution from slipping into cheap nostalgia and turning into a sentimental walk down the memory lane is to embrace the international context, especially the one the countries of this region have shared since 1989,” write the organizers.
“The newly democratic countries that have joined the European Union seem to be increasingly exhausted as they succumb to growing populism, corruption, racism and chauvinism. Even the Anglo-Saxon model of market economics – the one thing we have embraced without difficulty – seems no longer to be working. In short, everything we have taken for granted only a few years ago has started to fragment and lose validity. Central Europe needs new intellectual energy. The Central European Forum offers a platform for rigorous debate without ideological barriers.”
– Central Europe as a border zone – where are the boundaries of Europe and Europeanness? What is the future of this region between the East and the West?
– Open society in crisis – what are the chances of sustaining freedom and democracy at a time of a faltering global capitalism?
– Totalitarian structures: a new lease of life? – has Central Europe shed the shackles of the past?
– Democracy fatigue – how solid are democratic institutions such as independent media, human rights and minority rights, and civic society twenty years after November 1989?