Category Archives: Interviews

[FeminEasts Podcast] Boryana Rossa on Sofia Queer Forum, Sex and Revolution, and Much More

Note: You may sample and skip between different themes in the discussion by hovering over and clicking on the various LeftEast thumbnails on the soundwave to display section labels or comments. In this first episode of the FeminEasts podcast, recorded in early 2018, we speak with Boryana Rossa about her work, the Sofia Queer Forum 2017 edition “Sex & Revolution” and broader topics concerning sexual art, politics and sexual liberation in Eastern Europe and beyond. We publish this interview while the next edition of the Queer Forum is taking place in Sofia November 9 – December 2, 2018. Boryan ..

Levica: a left case for boycott of the referendum on the Macedonia name dispute

Note from LeftEast Editors: In June an agreement was signed between Greece and Macedonia. According to it, the latter’s name will be changed into the Republic of North Macedonia. One of the attributes of the agreement is that Macedonia will be promised membership of the EU and NATO, which Greece had previously blocked. The agreement has been applauded by the western establishment and even garnered the support of some well-regarded names on the left. And yet other figures on the left have criticized it for being “ in the service of US imperialism and European capital.” On September 30th a referendum is takin ..

Interview with the Emma Collective from Kaunas

The Emma Social Center is organizing a feminist gathering in Kaunas, Lithuania between 24-26 of August 2018. Their call for participants and activity proposals can be found here: https://feminismineasterneurope.wordpress.com/.  LeftEast Femineast editor Alexandra Ghit talked to them briefly about the Center, inter-sectional feminist political organizing, the worrisome situation in Eastern Europe and their hopes for this gathering and a larger Conference they are planning to organize in 2019. Can you tell me more about the “Emma” feminist group in Kaunas? The Emma Social Center is named after Emma Goldman, w ..

Five Senses of Austerity: Seeing Ruins

In 1977 Romania was hit by one of the most powerful earthquakes in its history. Episode two of the Five Senses of Austerity engages with the way in which the state dealt with the aftermath. On the one hand, the state saw the natural disaster as an opportunity for a particular kind of redevelopment, while on the other hand, for many Romanians, the earthquake marked the actual moment when things started to take a turn for the worse. The moment when austerity began. This podcast was originally published at podcasts.ceu.edu as part of the Sound Relations Project based at Central European University, Budapest, and is ..

Armenia: “a mass movement the country never has seen before” (an interview with Hovhannes Gevorkian)

A mass movement in Armenia pushed out the Prime Minister and former president Serj Sargsyan. Even if liberal currents are trying to channel the movement and gain electoral support, this event could also be a positive move for the oppressed youth and the working class in the country. We interviewed Hovhannes Gevorkian, an Armenian student of Law in Berlin and member of the Revolutionären Internationalistischen Organisation (RIO) of Germany. The interview was conducted by Philippe Alcoy (PA). PA: How did the movement start? Is it the first time that people demonstrate against the government? The movement started a ..

Populism or people’s movements? Interview with Mary Taylor

Ágnes Gagyi: “Populism” seems to have become a central notion in debates about contemporary politics. How do you see the socio-political process that led to this centrality within the US? How would you characterize the political and discursive fields that shape the meanings and applications of this notion in contemporary US debates? Mary Taylor: Let me first address the term ‘populism’s status as a catch phrase more generally at this global historical juncture. It seems that people are using the term quite often without defining it, and that (in most cases) it is valued negatively; it is an accus ..

‘A Better Past is Still Possible’. Interview with Boris Buden

Note from LeftEast Editors: This interview was originally published in Bulgarian for dVERSIA (8/2017) on the occasion of the publication of the Bulgarian translation of Boris Buden’s book ‘Zone des Übergangs. Über das Ende des Postkommunismus’. Neda Genova: There is a dominant discourse in Bulgaria which often mobilises an anti-communist rhetoric as an explanatory matrix for almost all of the deficits of the current (hyper)capitalist regime: the privation and violence of the present are interpreted as a result of an insufficiently radical break with the country’s communist past. Thus, issues ..

Interview with Moishe Postone: “Critique and Dogmatism”

Note from LeftEast editors: We re-publish this article, originally published by antidotezine.com on 22.03.2018 – on the occasions of the seven-year anniversary of the Syrian uprisings as well as the passing of the great scholar and political theorist Moishe Postone. The interview (conducted in 2011 by Slovenian then-doctoral student Anej Korsika), was first published in English on Korsika’s blog in 2015. Anej Korsika: In the beginning of 2011, I spent three months at the University of Chicago, studying under the supervision of professor Moishe Postone, my foreign doctoral adviser. As time passes, one ..

No Sweets for Massacres: Katliamın Lokumu Olmaz! An Interview with Boğaziçi Students

Note from the editors: In the week following a non-violent demonstration on the campus of Boğaziçi University in Istanbul against a pro-government Islamist student group handing out sweets to celebrate the victory of the Turkish Army and its allied militias in the Syrian-Kurdish district of Afrin, Turkish police have repeatedly swept into the campus in pursuit of anyone suspected of involvement in the anti-war action. The ongoing wave of detentions on the Boğaziçi campus form part of a strategy familiar from earlier police action on university campuses in Turkey, and which intensified even before the Presiden ..

The ‘Ndrangheta and Slovak Politics: an interview with Alena Krempaská

Note from the editors: The following interview with Alena Krempaská was conducted by Mattia Gallo in the days following the protests in Bratislava. Mattia Gallo: On Friday, March 9, 2018, tens of thousands of people animated the center of Bratislava in a peaceful demonstration against the government of Prime Minister Robert Fico to ask the truth about the murder of the Slovak journalist, Jan Kuciak and his girlfriend, Martina Kušnírová. Kuciak, who was shot dead on February 25, was investigating the presence of activities of the Calabrian ‘Ndrangheta in Slovakia. What were the slogans and the biggest demand ..