The Rise of Heteronomous Academia on the EU’s Borderlands

ith the very recent founding of a “streamlined” Family Research Centre, compatible with the government’s political agenda, within the Academy’s Institute of Sociology, heteronomy in academe has reached a new peak. In a context where “family research” serves as a governmental counter-discourse par excellence to bash “gender studies” (generally associated with liberalism, multiculturalism, relativism and the CEU), the foundation of a “family research centre” within the Hungarian Academy of Sciences is not only ethically questionable; it is also a clear sign of governmental policies permeating th ..

Partisans or Workers? Figures of Belarusian Protest and Their Prospects

Although Belarus is often referred to as a repressive state, the familiar ‘Parisian arsenal’ of tear gas canisters, water cannons, rubber bullets, and stun grenades was used here on a mass scale for the first time. Western technologies of violence were complemented by traditional post-Soviet police brutality: beating and detention of random people, torture, humiliation, and sometimes threats of rape in jail, the hunting down of journalists, etc. None of the opposition leaders joined the crowd or made radical statements. The opposition movement turned out to be on the whole amorphous, without clear leadershi ..

Struggles in Social Reproduction during Covid19: From East to West and Beyond

Note from LeftEast editors: This text first appeared on the Transnational Social Strike Platform website. It is co-authored by members of the LevFem and Transnational Social Strike Platform collectives. The text reflects key issues discussed during a June 28, 2020 online webinar coordinated by the two collectives [LINK TO VIDEO]. The webinar built on discussions with workers and activists from the the Central Eastern European region. The talks formed part of an emerging initiative to connect different struggles on the terrains of social reproduction, labour and migration in CEE and beyond. The Covid-19 pandemic s ..

Denying the Right to Simply Live: The Devastating Explosion in Beirut’s Port Brings Tragedy to Already Strained Conditions

The August 4th explosion in Beirut’s port is an unprecedented disaster. The explosion of 2700 tonnes of ammonium nitrite confiscated from a vessel in 2013 and stored in the Port, has killed over 135 people, injured over 5000, and left more than 300 000 homeless in a city of rubble and shattered glass. What caused the material to catch fire and explode is still unclear. This text takes a closer look at the Port and the neighbourhoods affected, and the socio-economic moment in which the explosion happened. Continue reading →

Rainbow Resistance: The Fight of LGBTQ Activists in Poland against Post-Election Repressions

Only one day after the Polish National Electoral Commission announced the incumbent president Andrzej Duda as the winner of the close runoff elections, a queer activist was arrested in Warsaw. According to witnesses, Margot’s arrest looked more like a kidnapping because ununiformed police officers handcuffed her with the use of force and dragged her out of her friend’s flat. (...) Queers have become public enemy number one in Poland. Continue reading →

Normality or Solidarity – The Worrying Undertones of Eastern European (Post)pandemic Governance

It is no surprise that this region was one of the first to discuss travel corridors in otherwise unstable global conditions. Unthinkable in this moment is the notion of solidarity and resource-sharing. In short, there are multiple realities we have to reckon with: one is that these countries who are pioneering certain politics of exclusion and normalcy are loaded with emergency health infrastructure; and the second, is the fact that there are other countries who have been inflicted with the unfortunate scenario of high infection rates and extremely low emergency infrastructures. Continue reading →

Fighting Back against Hungary’s Ban on Legal Gender Recognition: An Interview with Tina Kolos Orban (Transvanilla Transgender Association)

Hungary's new law "seems to be part of the broader war of the government on gender. Defining sex at birth as an unchangeable characteristic is part of that discourse and is an obvious attack on the right of trans and intersex people in Hungary. The situation for trans people was getting worse in the past years but we did not experienced targeted attacks before this law proposal." Continue reading →

Whiteness: “Race,” Capitalism, US, Eastern Europe

Interview excerpt: "For us, in our part of the world, one of the most breathtaking aspects of the history of the Haitian Revolution is that the Polish battalion sent there by the French switched sides and supported the uprising. Mind you, some of the Polish survivors ended up settling there, and there are even today proud Haitians who claim, partly, Polish family heritage. There are many intricacies to this story. My point is that, in the late-18th, early-19th century, it was still possible for east European subjects to experience a political, moral and emotional identification with Black people and the objecti ..

Antifascism Is Not a Monument

The Sutjeska and Bijeljina monuments appear to stand for two profoundly divergent worlds, one symbolizing the cosmopolitan and antifascist past of socialist Yugoslavia, the other embodying the hyper-nationalist and segregationist present of post-Yugoslav states. Yet both monuments were made by the same sculptor. As I walked away, my stomach still churning, my first thought was not “How could this be?”, but “Oh no, not again.” Continue reading →

“Your Security Terrorizes”: An Interview with Ana Ivasiuc

That is an alternative political project worth thinking about: how to replace security with solidarity? In this light, I am profoundly against using the word ‘security’ in progressive political activism. To claim that the security of the subaltern is important, too, is to be blind to the fact that the powerful and propertied can never take that claim seriously in a system built on the primacy of property and of capital. Continue reading →