Category Archives: Interviews

The open violence of the Balkan labour reforms: an interview with Aleksandar Matković

The following interview between Petar Protić and Aleksandar Matković originally appeared in Serbo-Croatian at Al Jazeera Balkans and concerns the recent labour laws that have been carried out almost simultaneously across several Balkan countries, each bearing similar tendencies: a weakening of workers’ rights and a strengthening of the rights of employers, the increase of precarious work and employers arbitrarily assigning work times as they see fit. These labour reforms form one of the central topics of the interview. Protić: Recently the Chinese company Hesteel Serbia, which operates the Smederevo ironwork ..

The Russian Revolution in East Turkistan: An Interview with David Brophy

The following interview is part of a year-long series LeftEast is running exploring the impact of the Russian Revolution in Eastern Europe and Eurasia. Over the course of this anniversary year we will publish historical documents, interviews and articles reflecting on the role of 1917 in reshaping the political horizons of the region. David Brophy is Senior Lecturer in Modern Chinese History at the University of Sydney whose work explores the history of modern Uyghur nationalism as it emerged in the context of imperial competition, reform and revolution in Russian and Chinese Turkistan. LeftEast’s James Roberts ..

Hunger for Justice: Nuriye Gülmen against the Turkish State (an Interview)

Note from the LeftEast editors: In one of the most dramatic cases of resistance against the Turkish state’s massive purges of the educational sector, Nuriye Gülmen and Semih Özakça have been on hunger strike for 110 days (as of Tuesday, June 27th), ingesting only small sugar cubes and drinking water and herbal tea. On the seventy-sixth day of their hunger strike the Turkish government had them arrested for alleged membership in a public-servants’ organization with ties to the armed militant group Revolutionary People’s Salvation Party-Front (DHKPC), in what many saw as an excuse to obtain the le ..

Interview with Costas Lapavitsas: Strategies for the renaissance of the left in Europe

Note from LeftEast Editors: The following interview with Costas Lapavitsas, conducted by Darko Vujica was originally published by prometej.ba on June 10th 2017.  D.V: The standard neo-liberal narrative describes the Greek crisis as a repercussion of the overspending of the indolent Greeks, and this served as an excuse for imposing austerity measures. Could you explain in more detail what actually happened? C.L: There is no content to the view that the crisis was because of the indolence or the spendthrift nature of the Greeks. The crisis was generally in the Eurozone and Greece was the worst case. This crisis h ..

Interview with Mariya Ivancheva

Note from LeftEast Editors: We republish an interview with LeftEast editor Mariya Ivancheva, taken by Eli Thorkelson for Academography on April 7th.  Mariya Ivancheva is currently working on a research project with the Universities of Leeds and Cape Town called “The Unbundled University.” Some of her recent work includes “The Discreet Charm of University Autonomy: Conflicting Legacies in the Venezuelan Student Movements” (2016), “Academic freedom and the commercialisation of universities: a critical ethical analysis” (2016, with Kathleen Lynch), “The age of precarity and the new challenges to ..

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 ..

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

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 ..

Leo Panitch: “What does it mean to smash the state? This is our great challenge.”

Note from the LeftEast editors: Our comrades from the Serbian Left-wing portal MAŠINA spoke to Marxist political economist Leo Panitch (York University) during his stay in Belgrade. There he was a guest at the conference The Return of Utopia (BCS), organized by the Center for Political Emancipation. This is the first appearance of the interview in English. Its original publication in Serbian can be accessed here. On behalf of Masina it was carried out by András Juhász. Q: Would you publicly declare yourself to be a socialist? A: Definitely. Q: Why? A: That’s a hard question to decide how to answer. In t ..

“A Spark in the Dark”- new left party Levica determined to enter Macedonia’s Parliament?!

For a decade now, Macedonia has been systematically devastated by the deeply criminal rightwing populist Gruevski regime, which has demolished the rule of law, media, democracy in the country and has put the commons in the Party’s private possession resulting in rising poverty and unemployment, and a huge exodus of young people in particular. Following two waves of mass protests and an EU-mediated political agreement, the elections present an opportunity to finally get rid of Gruevski’s government. They also represent an opportunity for the relatively new political player, the recently formed lef ..

From border unto border: An interview with Clare Fester of Yiddishkayt

LeftEast‘s James Robertson spoke with Clare Fester, Associate Director of the Los Angeles-based cultural organization Yiddishkayt, about Yiddish culture, the history of Jewish socialism and the politics of anti-Semitism in Eastern Europe today. JR: Tell us a little bit about the history of Yiddishkayt. What was the broader social or political background from which it originated? CF: Yiddishkayt began in 1995 as a live cultural festival in Los Angeles, but it has deeper roots. The original Yiddishkayt is part of a tradition of leftist and communist-affiliated Yiddish cultural organizations. Many members of t ..