In moments of heightened crisis, such as today’s, one of the first strategies of a state is to defer its pretense of universal social solidarity, directing its energies towards the social groups it prioritizes but normally cannot single out. This same tendency often leads to postponing of its efforts to negotiate difficult social, economic, and racial relations. In many states the diverse and conflicting nature of the populations gives way to rapidly consolidating sentiments of ethno-nationalism. The situation in Slovakia after the outbreak of the novel coronavirus is a painfully apt example. The country was am ..
The racialization/inferiorization of Roma has been normalized over centuries and supported by social structures. Therefore, instead of organizing public protest against such statements, we rather tacitly accept and even mainstream these violent discourses. In this sense, the racialization of Roma is not a novelty. However, the way it is framed in illiberal political discourse excludes any other point of view, even if comes from the independent judiciary. Continue reading →
Racist patrols and protests are spreading in Serbia, as the far right seeks to exploit the migrant crisis for political gain, write AnjaIlić and Vladimir Unkovski-Korica. This is a significantly expanded version of an article first published onCounterfire. When news broke that Turkish–EU tensions in Syria had led to Ankara’s cynical decision to stop preventing migrants crossing the EU border on 27thFebruary, the Balkans as the main transit route between Turkey and the EU could not be unaffected. EU member Hungary has temporarily stopped taking asylum-seekers on the Serbian border, citing fears that migrants ..
We are publishing this article in cooperation with the Serbo-Croatian web portal Bilten. In the “Offenders in Gabrovo!” Facebook group, natives of the eponymous Central Bulgarian town comment upon all sorts of irregularities: they lambaste the owner of a car parked on the wrong side of the street, mobilize to replace a broken lamp post, ridicule the municipality’s failed street disinfection campaign, announce a lost set of keys, and criticize irregular public transportation. With more than 25 000 members, roughly half the town’s population, the group serves as a messy sort of a citizen’s ass ..
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 ..
Note from LeftEast editors: The article was originally published on dversia.net in Bulgarian on the 10.09.2017 At this year’s summit of G20, the newly elected French president Emanuel Macron stated that the problem with the slow economic development of Africa was civilizational. As an example, he noted that African women gave birth to 7-8 children, in which he saw a negative economic effect without accounting for its economic roots–the reason must be the “innate backwardness” of the people. Similarly, in Bulgaria the problem with the social and economic segregation of the Roma is viewed as civilizatio ..
Note from the editors: Starting next month Bulgaria will assume the presidency of the Council of the European Union. To acknowledge this momentous occasion, this month LeftEast will carry two texts by Jana Tsoneva analyzing the politics of contemporary Bulgaria. This article originally appeared in July on the Serbo-Croatian portal Bilten and is republished here with their generous permission. It is a habit of the lazy mind to associate only ex-Yugoslavia with ethnic conflicts, but in the late 1980s Bulgaria, too, was on the brink of an “ethnic war”. The post-1956 period regime was marked by the increase of ra ..
This text was originally published in Russian in the web-journal ReLevant: a Journal of Current Analysis. We are much obliged to Maria Brock for its English translation. Anyone who has crossed paths with Soviet immigrants in the West will have noticed the strange phenomenon of post-Soviet racism, which is all the stranger because the overwhelming majority of emigrants from the Soviet Union are “individuals of Jewish origin,” that is, people who not only faced quotidian and structural racism, but who also ended up fleeing from it. Dr N was pensively stirring his cappuccino, which had long gone cold. We were ..
Source: Workers Solidarity Movement, Ireland Words: Andrew Flood Illustrative head image: Collage of photos posted by diamond geezer @diamondgeezer and daniel watson @DWxLW in the days after Brexit. The Leave / Brexit vote in the referendum came in the end as a surprise, a narrow win for Remain was expected. This may be because the core Leave vote was in the run-down white working class communities of the now desolate English and Welsh industrial zones. A population trapped in conditions of long-term unemployment and poverty who no one really pays much attention to anymore. Some on the left have seized ..