Between Self-Hatred and Geopolitics: Romania and the Republic of Moldova

The following article was originally published in Serbo-Croatian on the online platform Bilten. It is republished here with that site’s kind permission. A recent minor event sums up eloquently the current relationship between Romania and the Republic of Moldova and, more than that, allows us to understand the complex historical, geopolitical and psychological relationship between the two countries. On January 3rd the current Moldovan president Igor Dodon revoked the Moldovian citizenship of the former Romanian President Traian Basescu. Basescu was sworn in as Moldovan citizen just few days prior to Dodon’s ..

[FeminEasts] Queer Podcasting from Around the Blocs: Call for Contributions

[FeminEasts] Detailed Call More, decolonizing and public meetings should exist for and about the feminisms of the globe’s “imagined easts”. As part of an attempt to create one such type of “meeting place”, we envision a series of 4 podcasts to be released regularly over the next year. For this planned LeftEast series, adequately-titled (you will agree) “FeminEasts”, we invite contributions of short audio and text materials from feminist contributors wherever. Podcast lovers and amateur sound recorders are welcome; we can provide minimal technical info and tips. The broad intention of this stories-an ..

Antarctica: the Last Frontier of Bulgaria’s Colonialist Dream

The following article was originally published in Serbo-Croatian by the online platform, Bilten. Its English version is published here with the site’s kind permission. Around mid-December 2016 a news piece announced that a monument to the Cyrillic alphabet is to be erected in Antarctica. It is a joint Bulgarian-Mongolian project. The news about the monument raised some eyebrows as to the practicality of having a monument to the alphabet in a place with hardly anyone around to appreciate it. I will leave the issue of the “metaphysical” monuments and structures devoid of any function beyond a pure self-refer ..

The Trump Effect in the Balkans: Serbia’s third election in four years?

Serbia faces a set of regular presidential elections this year – but also the prospect of its third parliamentary election in four years. The latter possibility confirms those analyses that have posited the instability of Serbian politics in spite of the appearance of stability, following the ruling coalition winning almost half the votes cast in both previous elections. Serbia after Milošević: Between West and East From the fall of Slobodan Milošević in 2000 to the presidential elections of 2012, Serbian politics was primarily divided geopolitically. Serbia’s governments predominantly took the form of ..

Alexandra Elbakyan: ‘The Fight Against Copyright Cannot Be Apolitical’

Many LeftEast readers–especially among the scientists; students of the humanities are more familiar with LibGen–have no doubt come across or used Sci-hub. It is a project that saves many scientists and students from the domination of corporations owning the property rights of scientific literature. It provides easy and free access to tens of millions of scientific articles. If obtained ‘legally’, each of them can cost the user $20, making scholarship prohibitively expensive for all but the affluent countries and universities able to afford the prohibitively important subscription fees. In the five ..

The Marvelous and the Everyday: How Rama is failing the Left in Albania

On a May evening six years ago, standing close to the venue where the opposition’s MPs are on strike, darkened by the night and time, solitary and pensive, Edi Rama looks as if painted by some Neue Sachlichkeit artist. “You have a weak handshake” – he tells me and shows how a handshake is supposed to be. For the then 19-year old me, he is an artist, the leftist that has to be a Prime Minister. Indeed he does but nowadays the artist surfaces here and there, whereas the leftist is nowhere to be seen. During the first years that followed the collapse of the communist regime, a young Rama wrot ..

What is at stake in the Romanian Protests?

A decision of the Social Democrat government to pass an urgent decree, which partly decriminalized the abuse of office and other related misconduct, brought more than half a million Romanian people onto the streets since last week. The government was wrong to pass this decree. There is no doubt that one of the main beneficiaries would have been Liviu Dragnea, the leader of the Social Democrats and Chamber President who is indicted for abuse of office. His case is pending. The argument that the government had to pass this decree in order to respect a previous decision of the Constitutional Court holds no water. Ne ..