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 ..
Note from the LeftEast editors: a Bulgarian version of this text first appeared on the pages of Kultura weekly newspaper. Christina Grozeva and Peter Valchanov’s The Lesson (2014) is probably the first feature film that explains the Bulgarian winter of discontent in 2013. It tells the story of a “normal” week in the life Nadezhda (Margarita Gosheva), a Bulgarian school teacher from a small town. While she tries to punish one of her students who committed theft in a morally instructive way, life teaches the instructor a much more serious moral lesson. The Lesson is based on a true story from 2010, sensation ..
Why is the US helping to fight the Kurds? By Debbie BookchinTwitter Right now, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is undertaking a massive assault on Kurdish communities in southeastern Turkey in an effort to wipe out the only truly democratic movement in the Middle East. In December, he unleashed a force of 10,000 soldiers, armed with tanks and mortars, who have cut water and electricity supplies, imposed draconian curfews, and razed buildings; they are following shoot-to-kill orders against local residents who venture from their homes to seek food, first aid, or alternative shelter. Already more than 200 Ku ..
Originally appeared on Balkanist. Šejla Kamerić discusses the status of art and women in the Balkans as well as her controversial piece “Bosnian Girl.” Inspired by the graffiti printed on the walls of the army barracks of Potočari, the piece takes on a renewed significance as the 20th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre approaches. If you type the words “Bosnian Girl” into Google Image Search, one result will stand apart from the rest. This image, the best-known work of Bosnian artist Šejla Kamerić, shows a woman staring defiantly at the camera in stark black and white. The text overlaid on ..
Wrapped in a perfumed Valentine’s-meets-Mother’s-Day packaging, year after year International Women’s Day seems to become further stripped of its political flavour. What is worrying is that this occurs at a time when women face deteriorating conditions across the region, in their homes, at the work place and society at large. We asked activists, researchers and feminist thinkers, about the cross-temporal meaning of the day, the current state of women’s struggles in their countries and their sources of inspiration.