Articles by Mariya Ivancheva

About Mariya Ivancheva

Mariya Ivancheva holds a PhD in Sociology and Social Anthropology from the Central European University in Budapest, on the topic of the higher education reform in Bolivarian Venezuela. She is currently a post-doctoral research fellow at University College Dublin and a member of Attac Ireland and Third Level Workplace Watch.

Bulgaria’s position on Venezuela – A Left Perspective

1. Has the government in Bulgaria country taken an official position regarding the situation in Venezuela? If yes, what is the position? In Bulgaria the Venezuelan crisis produced a somewhat unexpected cleavage between the government and the opposition. I say somewhat unexpected because Roumen Radev, the President elected from the mandate of the Bulgarian Socialist Party which has deferred any position on Latin American politics, took a stance in support of President Maduro and against the intervention of the US. He said that the events were a matter of concern with risk of escalation of violence and called for ..

A Lesson in Self-Immolation (Film Review)

Note from the LeftEast editors: a Bulgarian version of this text first appeared on the pages of Kultura weekly newspaper. Christina Grozeva and Peter Valchanov’s The Lesson (2014) is probably the first feature film that explains the Bulgarian winter of discontent in 2013. It tells the story of a “normal” week in the life Nadezhda (Margarita Gosheva), a Bulgarian school teacher from a small town. While she tries to punish one of her students who committed theft in a morally instructive way, life teaches the instructor a much more serious moral lesson. The Lesson is based on a true story from 2010, sensation ..

“Bulgaria has still not reached the bottom”. An interview with Mariya Ivancheva.

This interview was taken by Ioanna Drosou from the Greek newspaper Epohi and the original version in Greek is available here. How would you comment on the result of the elections? The results of the election are no big surprise for anyone. As some political commentators, myself included, predicted already in February 2013, when Boyko Borissov and GERB’s cabinet resigned, he was resigning in order to secure his return. His resignation occurred after days of violent protests caused by an increase of electricity prices, which resulted in the self-immolation of seven Bulgarians in the winter of 2013 (almost double ..

How a Bulgarian teacher made the news… for all the wrong reasons

This article is published in collaboration with the Serbo-Croatian online web portal Bilten.Org  On the 15th of September 2014, the first day of school in Bulgaria, a photograph of a third grade Bulgarian teacher, Silviya Zubeva, taken by a parent, was leaked through 9gag[i], with versions appearing later in Bulgarian, English, and German. The picture, first spread with a descriptive comment “A school teacher in Bulgaria”, has since received hundreds of thousands likes and shares from all around the world. The comments varied from the moralizing “Why didn’t she put the cardigan”, “She’s dressed lik ..

How healthcare kills: lessons from neoliberal Bulgaria

Nоte from the LeftEast editors: Тhis article has been published in collaboration with the new Balkan web-portal Bilten.org. The publication in Serbo-Croatian is to be found here.  In the last days of March 2014, a Bulgarian woman, Dobrinka Krumova, aged 26, died because neither private, nor public hospitals in Dupnitsa in South Bulgaria accepted her for treatment. A few years ago the woman was stabbed by her partner and father of her two under-aged children. After she parted from her partner and moved in to live with her retired mother, Krumova underwent a colostomy operation to survive the severe intesti ..

Post-colonial film club in Budapest. An interview with Tamás Gerőcs and Tibor Meszmann, Helyzet Group of Public Sociology.

Mariya Ivancheva interviewed Tamás Gerőcs and Tibor Meszmann about the post-colonialism film club of the Public Sociology Working Group ‘Helyzet’ on 18 February 2014, in Budapest. We are now at the Gólya Community Centre in Budapest. I would start with a question about how these three things, namely the Gólya (Stork) centre, the Helyzet (Position and situation) working group, and the post-colonialism film club are interrelated? Tibor T. Meszmann: Gólya is a community centre, and operates as a cooperative. Their idea is to attract leftist groups and offer them a location for their various activities. They ..

A people divided: violent conflict emerging in Bulgaria

Over the last few days Bulgaria has witnessed opposing waves of mobilization that divide the country across ethnic and class lines. Since the 23rd of October, a student strike and sustained occupation has spread across six universities in the capital and other cities. The strike is the latest in a series of protests in the capital city in response to the saga of media mogul Delyan Peevski, whose unconstitutional reappointment as MP struck a painful cord with protesters, now out in the streets for months. Starting with expressions of moral indignation and demands for the resignation of the “Left-wing” governme ..

A vicious cycle? Some notes on the Bulgarian protests from the summer of 2013

Just few months after the Bulgarians overturned the government of Boyko Borissov in February 2013, they are back in the streets in tens of thousands demanding the resignation of the new government. While this might look like the same wave of protests, there has been little continuity. The protests in February were an outburst of people suffering poverty and deprivation amidst the economic crisis. The protests happening over the last few weeks are rather caused by a moral panic and a deep crisis of political representation. And while both mourn the take-over of the state by oligarchic networks, the February protes ..

The Bulgarian winter: between the devil and the deep blue sea

On Wednesday, 20th of February 2013, the Bulgarian government headed by Boyko Borissov has deposited its resignation. What happened? What comes next? Over the last week, Bulgarians in most big cities have been out in the streets, protesting against the increased electricity and heating bills. While the increase has happened gradually throughout 2012, the bills that were delivered to the post-boxes of the population in January 2013 were often times bigger than they would normally get. The wave of contention in response to the rise of electricity prices spread throughout the country, resulting in blockades of road ..