Tag Archives: poverty

NO to transition 2.0: Social recomposition, Decolonisation and Transautonomism

This article was originally published as part of the Gazette of Political Art (GAP) #12 „In the Name of the Periphery. Decolonial theory and intervention in the Romanian context” December 2015, coordinated by Veda Popovici and Ovidiu Pop. It is the second out of a small series of materials from this issue, which LeftEast will present in English. The illustration was prepared for GAP by Alex Horghidan. (translated from Romanian for LeftEast by Raluca Parvu) In some of the biggest Spanish towns, the 2015 local elections have been won by women, and the left won in the top five biggest cities in Spain. Man ..

VIDEO: Where have all the workers gone

This film tells the tale of textile workers in post-Yugoslav states. The garment industry was very successful in socialist times, and employed thousands of workers, particularly women. After the Yugoslav break-up and post-socialist transition, however, the industry underwent a process of economic decline and deindustrialisation. Textile workers in the former Yugoslavia faced factory closures, job losses and exploitative working conditions, thus losing the social security and social rights experienced during socialism. Written and narrated by Chiara Bonfiglioli Directed and post-produced by Yorgos Karagiannakis, P ..

PLAN C: Which plan for the Left government in Greece after the new memorandum?

Over the last couple of days, the Global Centre of Advanced Studies (GCAS) “Democracy Rising” Conference took place in Athens, Greece. There has been much talk about three possible plans for the future of Greece: PLAN A (the continuation of Memoranda politics), PLAN B (exit from Euro), PLAN C (strengthening local cooperatives and subsistence economies, empowering communities). It has to be clear that these plans are not mutually exclusive, but could form at least demarcatory grounds for future strategy and popular mobilisation. This is a short comment on these plans. PLAN A Let me be clear from the st ..

VIDEO: Living up to a name: The story of Plamen Goranov. An interview with the film-makers.

LeftEast recently sat down with Martin Marinos and Andre Andreev to discuss their film ‘Flame: A Short Film About Plamen Goranov,’ which recently won the Thessaloniki Film Festival’s Audience Award for Best Short Film. The documentary explores the life of Plamen Goranov whose self-immolation during the Bulgarian protests in 2013 spurred the resignation of Varna’s mayor and was also cited by the Prime Minister Boyko Borisov as one of the reasons for his resignation. Martin and Andre have generously made the entire film available to LeftEast readers. Tell us a little bit about how the idea for this film c ..

International Workers’ Day: resounding struggles from Greece to Russia

“For more than twenty years have the wage workers of this country begged and prayed their masters, the factory lords, to reduce their burdens. It has been in vain.” – this proclamation could easily have come from a 1st of May rally in 2015, as it remains equally relevant today. But it dates back to the 4th of May, 1886, when August Spies, one of the key protagonists of the Haymarket affair in Chicago incited the rally in support of workers striking for an eight-hour-day, which spiraled into a mass protest and inspired the International Workers’ movement. 130 years on, as the struggle continues, LeftEast s ..

Dancing in Kosova

Note from the LeftEast editors: this article has been originally published on the website of Vetevendosje site, and is reprinted in LeftEast with the permission of its author. This year a new documentary titled Dancing in Jaffa debuted to international acclaim and won awards in some international film festivals. It tells the story of dozens of Palestinian and Israeli children learning to ballroom dance together, portraying the idea that, as L. Bento explains in his recent article in the Huffington Post, “At the heart of every conflict lies a misunderstanding, often influenced by cultural biases and preconceived ..

Debt, Rents and Homelessness: Housing Policies in Postsocialist Romania

On September 16, 2014, about 30 people protested in front of the Bucharest City Hall. They demanded to be offered a housing after they had been forcefully evicted a day before from their houses on 50 Vulturilor Street, in the 3rd District of the Romanian capital. They also asked the municipality to stop the speculative and shady real estate developments in the city center, which led to their situation. The demand to see the mayor Sorin Oprescu came no fruition. The eviction was overseen by court officers and riot police in gear as the tenants, including many children, had to carry their belongings across the narr ..

Housing poverty and (missing) housing policies in Hungary: A radical re-imagination of housing is what we need (part 2)

Note from the LeftEast editors: the first part of Mariann Dosa’s text on the housing policies in Hungary can be read here. Any housing policies that prioritize equity need to be based on broadly accessible public housing, because it is the only way forward that transcends the structure of neoliberal capitalism and hence, offers radical change in our thinking about housing and the actual way in which people live. In contemporary Hungary a mere 3% of the total housing stock is public property. As a comparison it is 32% in the Netherlands, 23% in Austria, 17% in the Chech Republic. But these are also not very ..

Struggles in and over Public Space: Hungarian Heritage as a Homeless Free Zone

Source: CritCom, Council of European Studies, Columbia University In November 2013, members of the organization The City Is for All (A Város Mindenkié, henceforth AVM) were forcibly removed from the Budapest General Assembly, after forming a singing, poem-reciting human chain in protest of the extension of criminalization of homeless people ‘to a major part of the city’ (AVM 2013). This came less than a month after AVM addressed a letter to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in an attempt to stop the use of heritage in this process of criminalization. Budapest, inc ..

Housing poverty and (missing) housing policies in Hungary (part 1)

Housing has recently become a hot topic in Hungarian public discourse. This increase in attention was caused by the alarming hardships caused by the steep increase in the interest on foreign currency (in which most mortgages taken in the 2000’s were taken) and the increasingly harsh, systematic, and overt criminalization of homeless people in the country. Nevertheless, in spite of the ever-growing pressure coming from local as well as international civil society, the government has not taken appropriate steps towards the viable solution of these pressing problems. The neoliberal capitalist regime in contemporar ..