Tag Archives: Bulgaria

Notes from Hell: Inside a Bulgarian Prison

16.11.2018 This first-person account of the conditions inside the prison in Pazardjik, Bulgaria was first published on the web site of the Bulgarian Prisoners’ Association. The Pazardjik prison is a classic. I had heard a lot about it but now that I’m here, have no words to describe what I’m going through. Most people are mentally unstable or one step away from it, especially the prison management. The institution’s director Veselin Kotzev behaves like he’s at a market square. He screams, scolds and doesn’t know the letter of the law. Or rather, knows it, but behaves like a spoiled brat. His way o ..

[PODCAST] Seasons in the Sun: Ukrainian and Bulgarian Workers in Bulgarian All-Inclusive Tourism

We are introducing the second episode of the podcast series “Europe is Working”. While the first installment delved into the political struggles of domestic workers in Spain, this second part proposes a journey to an all-inclusive resort on the Bulgarian coast where Bulgarians and Ukrainians find seasonal work. You will get a glimpse of the workers’ perceptions of their own work, their everyday life, and the impact of tourism on the Bulgarian labor market and society at large. This podcast was originally published at podcasts.ceu.edu as part of the project “Towards Shared Interests between Mi ..

Statement by LevFem Regarding the Latest Demolition of Roma Houses in Bulgaria: please circulate widely

Anti-Roma racism, ethnophobia, and prejudice have reached intolerable proportions in Bulgarian government, the Bulgarian public sphere, and Bulgarian society at large. LevFem stands in solidarity with our Roma sisters and brothers who are subjected to incessant daily racist abuse, harassment, violence, and dehumanization, and navigate countless forms of prejudice while surviving an increasingly hostile racist, ethnophobic, and xenophobic social environment. On January 9, Vice Prime Minister of Bulgaria Krasimir Karakachanov called bulldozers and began the demolition of informally-built Roma homes in the village o ..

What is fueling the fuel price protests in Bulgaria?

The price of fuel has become the focal point of anti-austerity protests and not only in France. On November 11 2018, or one day after the 29th anniversary of the mythical November 10th  1989, celebrated as the day when the Bulgarian Communist Party GenSec Todor Zhivkov filed his resignation and ushered in the disparate panoply of changes known as the “Transition”, a protest called on the people of Sofia to rise up against the prices of fuel, of the mandatory car insurance and the proposed new taxes to be levied on old cars. The protests quickly spread engulfing more than 30 cities and towns, blocking highway ..

Men in the Bulgarian Parliament stand behind violence against women

Text by left feminist group LevFem: Raia Apostolova, Kalina Drenska, Anastasia Lilieva, Lea Vajsova, Zhivka Valiavicharska, Neda Genova, Mariya Ivancheva Translation: Emanuela Yaneva The parliamentary session of the Bulgarian National Assembly, which took place on the 15th of November, and was aimed at voting legislative changes in the Criminal code concerning the criminalization of certain forms of domestic violence, was accompanied by an extremely sexist discussion by MPs. As it usually happens in the Bulgarian Parliament consensus marked the day. Despite various attempts from different parliamentary groups to ..

Lea Vajsova: There are now ruptures through which a feminist movement will start unfolding in Bulgaria

Note by the LeftEast editors: This interview with Lea Vajsova was conducted by Yuliana Metodieva for the Bulgarian website Marginalia. BG . It was translated from the Bulgarian by Dorotea Stefanova and Stoyo Tetevenski and reprinted with Lea Vajsova’s permission. Lea Vajsova, PhD is an assistant professor at the department of Sociology in Sofia University. Her research interests are in the fields of critical theory and social movements. Lea, your Facebook post describing abuse provoked a very interesting public reaction. It encouraged you to start the movement NotAlone in Bulgaria, very similar to #metoo. ..

[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 ..

#YouAreNotAlone: Call for international solidarity with Bulgarian women

A call for solidarity actions with Bulgarian women’s upcoming protest against politicians’ ignorance of women’s issues, issued by Левфем (Informal group of Bulgarian left feminists) and initially published on Diversia.net . Dear comrades, This is a call for international solidarity with an upcoming protest in Sofia, Bulgaria that will voice our anguish with a growing violent wave of misogyny in the country. The protest will take place on November 26, 2018. We will demand changes that do not only concern the criminal code but such that aim prevention of misogynic crimes. We will also demand ..

A Freight-ening Tale: Bulgaria Finally Stands up to the EU

This article has been published in collaboration with Bilten. The following is an overview of a recent episode in the relentless war on social rights in Bulgaria. I will focus on the aborted reform of freight drivers’ work conditions as it presents us with a rare case of a clear internationalization of the extremely exploitative industrial relations prevalent in Bulgaria within the international freight sector. In 2017, during a trip to Eastern Europe, French President Emmanuel Macron drew attention to one of the obvious effects of the market integration of nations as distant and divergent in economic developme ..

Environmentalists against the Environment: When Good Intentions Are Not Enough

This article is published in collaboration with the Serbo-Croatian portal Bilten. Debates over natural conservation have been at the center of public attention in Bulgaria. They usually appear as clashes between investors and environmentalists over tourist resort projects. Media represents them as a contradiction between concerns with the employment of citizens, living in the vicinity of national parks, and green activists, caring for natural conservation, but disregarding economic growth. In reality, the green movement were complicit in the establishment of a liberal conservationist regime that was abused by inv ..