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 ..
Note from the LeftEast editors: This is an interview with Jock Palfreeman, an Australian citizen and prisoner in Blugaria, who is the founder of the Bulgarian Prisoners’ Association. In 2007 Jock was convicted for the murder of Bulgarian Andrei Monov although claimed that he was trying to help two Roma people that were attacked by a group of fifteen football hooligans. Many details about this night remained unclear to this day. The main witnesses–the two Roma–have disappeared. The surveillance camera footage that could show what happened this night has vanished without a trace. And even if Jo ..
For more than a week the so-called Balkan Route is passing through Slovenia. The Slovenian government intended to impose the entrance quota of 2500 refugees per day. Croatia answered by sending the refugees and migrants over the so-called “Green” border. This controversy between Slovenia and Croatia created dire humanitarian conditions for the refugees and migrants. The Slovenian government used this humanitarian emergency produced by states and what they call a chaotic situation on the Southern border to rapidly militarize the society and call for an EU summit on the Balkan Route. The results of the Sunday s ..
The crisis in Western Asia and North Africa keeps deepening. Neither the key North American and European actors in the one and a half decade-long armed conflict, nor their regional allies are willing to abandon the politics of brutal interventions, even if these are indefensible according to international law. The aim of maintaining political violence is clear: gaining control over the arms market, trade routes and sources of raw materials, most importantly oil. NATO and the great powers are responsible not only for aggravating the crisis, but for the civilian casualties of the armed conflicts and the millions of ..
Note from the LeftEast editors: This article has been adapted for LeftEast from the original in Eszmélet 105. Follow the link to read PART I: From right –wing movement to the third force in Hungarian politics: Jobbik’s ascendence 1999-2010 PART II: ‘National rejuvenation’ and ‘social justice’: the ideology and praxis of Jobbik The two main main ideological concepts informing Jobbik’s worldview and actions are ‘national rejuvenation’ and ‘social justice’. The former derives from the idea of an ‘organic nation’, built on Völkisch, Christian foundations and encompassing the historical b ..
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 ..
The following is the last of three articles by Jana Tsoneva and Stanimir Panayotov on the Bulgarian state’s increasingly harsh rhetoric and policy proposals vis-a-vis the country’s Roma minority. Part I showed that while the discourse is focused on the Roma, the measures proposed will cut social provisions for all poor Bulgarians. Part II‘s main argument is that while Roma have long been the main target of Bulgaria’s nationalists, a narrow liberal conception of humanity may ultimately prove a more powerful force for their dehumanization. While locating this new racial regime in the pecul ..