Category Archives: Interviews

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 ..

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 ..

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

panitch2

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?!

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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

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 ..

Morgane Merteuil: Sex work can be emancipatory only as a collective process

source: la voix du nord

Note of the LeftEast editors: On April 13, 2016, the French government promulgated a law that makes it illegal to pay for sex after MPs finally approved new legislation on prostitution following more than two years of rows and opposition by senators. Under the new law, anyone caught purchasing an act from a sex worker will be fined and required to attend classes on the harms of prostitution. Six months on, according to the French union of sex workers STRASS, the law has made the nearly 30,000 sex workers in France more vulnerable. The union has further accused Maud Olivier, Socialist MP who is behind the bill, of ..

Interview: G. M. Tamás on the Anti-Immigration Referendum in Hungary

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Note from the LeftEast editors: in run up to the anti-immigration referendum in Hungary (today 02 Oct 2016), Mary Taylor and Agnes Gagyi from the editorial board of LeftEast interviewed Hungarian Marxist philosopher and public intellectual G. M. Tamás on the current developments in Hungary and their connections with wider global-historical processes. LeftEast: On October 2 in Hungary there will be a referendum on the European migrant quotas. What work does this referendum do on the level of the Hungarian nation-state? How do you see the relationship of the referendum to processes on the international scale? G. ..

On Czech Marxism: An interview with Ivan Landa and Jan Mervart

Karel Kosik

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 ..

Turkey: the Political Balance of Forces in Three Interviews

Andras-Juhasz

The full version was published in Serbian on Masina. The attempted coup of July 15th caught me in Istanbul. What that night of adrenaline, shocking and confusing news, the sounds of machine-gun fire and low-flying military aircraft left me with was a desire to better understand what happened. Being so close to the Bosphorus bridges—a site of much of the action on that night–and witnessing first hand the masses responding to Erdogan’s call did not by itself help. What shed more light on the moment were three conversations I had with Turkish participants in our summer school: with Saygun Gökarıksel, w ..

Interview with “Prasvet” editor Tania Chyzhova

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Tania Chyzhova, editor and author of the Belarusian marxist journal of left critique Prasvet (prasvet.com) and resource of wide-left orientation Left.by. Studied philosophy in the Belarusian State University, then was an academic researcher in social philosophy and political science (marxism, theories of social agency, protest actions in Belarus). Mattia Gallo talked to Tania about the regime type in Belarus following the economic crisis of 2008 and the Ukrainian power shift. From most parts Belarus is defined as “the last dictatorship in Europe.” Do you think it is a right definition? What is the cu ..