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?

tomislav-nikolic-aleksandar-vucic

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’

Alexandra Elbakyan

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

The Albanian capital of Tirana and the coloured facades that date back to Rama's time as mayor.

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?

Romania2

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 ..

Bosnia: A very European division

EuroParliament

The following article was first published at the online Serbo-Croatian platform Bilten. On 30 January the future organization of Bosnia and Herzegovina, one of the countries of the region without even a formal full sovereignty, was discussed in the foreign affairs committee of the European Parliament (EP), a body in which no representatives of the country concerned have the right to participate. This is, of course, a standard procedure: despite having no plans in the near future to admit Bosnia and Herzegovina as members, the European Union in its significant and less significant bodies regularly assesses the  ..

Svjetlana Nedimović: “We have been commanded to take care of our souls while the authorities will take care of the real estate”

Nedimovic

The following interview was conducted by Amer Bahtijar and was originally published in Bosnian at the online portal, Tačno. It was translated by Alja Gudzevich and edited by Natalie Gravenor and Marina Antić. In February 2014, Bosnia and Herzegovina experienced its first workers uprising since the anti-war protests of 1992. Unexpected and spreading like wildfire, the protests did eventually die out in April of the same year, but not before several government buildings burned and a number of resignations at the cantonal levels were secured. However, few things seem to have changed in Bosnia since: the national ..

The Russian Revolution in Eastern Europe: ‘Resolutions of the Balkan Communist Conference’ Sofia, January 1920

The newspaper of the Balkan Communist Federation, La federation balkanique, was published sporadically from 1924 to 1931.

The following document, ‘Resolutions of the Balkan Communist Conference’ (1920), is part of a year-long series LeftEast will run exploring the impact of the Russian Revolution in Eastern Europe. Over the course of this anniversary year we will publish historical documents, interviews and articles reflecting on the role of 1917 in reshaping the political horizons of the region. ‘Introduction: The Russian Revolution and the Balkan Communist Federation’ Modern plans for the unification of the Balkans stretch back to the late eighteenth century with the Modern Greek Enlightenment and proliferated as t ..