Early last year the Estonian writer and controversial public figure Kaur Kender was formally charged with production of child pornography. The charges related to a novella Kender penned in the winter of 2014 entitled Untitled 12, which depicts the violent sexual abuse of women and children by an unnamed protagonist. The persecution of the novella’s author has ensured that it has achieved an infamy incommensurate with its literary worth. Kender’s trial began in May in Tallinn. At the request of the prosecutor, Lea Pähkel, the trial has been partially closed ‘for reasons of public morality’ bu ..
LeftEast’s James Robertson speaks with Czech scholars Ivan Landa and Jan Mervart about their current project collating and translating some of the key texts from the history of Czech Marxism. Robertson: Both of you are currently involved in publishing a series of English translations of works by Czech (and Slovak?) Marxists. Can you say a few words about this project? How did it come about? Which philosophers you are working on? Landa: In fact we are currently pursuing two bigger parallel editorial projects: English translations of some of the most interesting Czech Marxist thinkers and besides that the cri ..
Anej Korsika is a political scientist, a member of the Marxist think tank, Institute for Labour Studies in Ljubljana and a member of the socialist party Initiative for Democratic Socialism. James Robertson is a historian of Yugoslavia, a member of the International Socialist Organization and of the editorial board of Left East. JR: Let’s start with a brief history of the Initiative for Democratic Socialism (IDS) and its role in the formation of the Združena levica (UL, United Left) earlier this year. What are the origins of IDS? AK: The Initiative for Democratic Socialism, to use the old cliche, has a ..
In his recent analysis of events in Ukraine, Florin Poenaru raises several points whose relevance goes well beyond the specific situation in that country. They speak to important problems that concern the (re-)building of the revolutionary Left in post-socialist Eastern Europe more broadly. This piece responds to some of these points in an effort to contribute to a wider political discussion on the strategies and analysis of the Left today. The central argument here concerns Florin’s call for Leftists working in and on Eastern Europe to ‘bring class back’ when assessing the politics of mass move ..