The trope of building bridges between peoples on opposing sides of a conflict often seems compelling, and infers an inevitable benevolence. Yet Mykola Riabchuk considers the strategy itself to be misguided, especially when those bridges actually separate people instead of bringing them together.
Neighbourhood in Europe: Prospects of a common future
Belarus, Estonia, Russia and Ukraine: four countries whose destinies are tightly interwoven. Now the S. Fischer Foundation, the German Academy of Language and Literature, and Allianz Cultural Foundation have created a transnational platform for discussing the most pressing country-specific topics in a common European context.
The topic of the series is “Neighbourhood in Europe: Prospects of a common future”. The St. Petersburg Debate on Europe took place from 15 to 18 May 2016, with public sessions on the evening of 17 May. Read also: Carl Henrik Fredriksson Senad Pecanin Bruno Schoch Taciana Arcimovic Ivaylo Ditchev
Neighbourhood in Europe
In a backyard that doesn’t exist
Bosnia in Ukraine
In defence of the citizens’ nation
Neighbourhood as an assertion of autonomy
Borders are back in fashion
The topic of the series is “Neighbourhood in Europe: Prospects of a common future”. The St. Petersburg Debate on Europe took place from 15 to 18 May 2016, with public sessions on the evening of 17 May. Read also:
Carl Henrik Fredriksson
The next conference takes place from 7 to 10 December in Minsk, Belarus, under the title Diverse identity experiences – one nation? The focus here is on internal and external perceptions of national borders, as well as how such borders are transcended by various constellations of community, identity and everyday life. The event is organized jointly with Olga Shparaga and Alexey Bratochkin from the European College of Liberal Arts in Belarus, in close cooperation with the “Ў” gallery of contemporary art in Minsk.
The same day proceedings wrap up in Minsk, the third conference in the series opens in Kharkiv, Ukraine, where discussion revolves around perspectives on living together in regions of conflict. The Kharkiv event runs until 12 December; partners include the Ukrainian author Serhii Zhadan and the philosopher Yaroslava Bondarchuk, as well as the Vasilkovsky Gallery. Further conferences are scheduled to take place in 2016 in St. Petersburg and in Vyborg in Russia, with the focus of the latter being the Finnish-Russian neighbourhood in Karelia.
Published 2 November 2015
Original in English
First published by Eurozine
The lack of ideological distinctions between Ukraine’s presidential candidates may allow them to be responsive to citizens’ needs, however it has also led to populist short-termism. With liberal, modernizing platforms unable to break onto the political stage, the elections are likely to be a missed opportunity for continuing post-Maidan reforms.