There is nothing quite like it in contemporary European politics. Perhaps there never was. The story of the current Romanian president seems more of a farce, a figment of imagination, than a real story. As with everything Romanian, it would be deeply funny and amusing if it weren’t tragic. President Klaus Iohannis came to power in November 2014 in very contested circumstances. Trailing by 10% his main competitor after the first round –the then Prime Minister Victor Ponta – and pretty much unconvincing during the TV debates before the run-off, Iohannis was all but defeated. In fact, from the very beginning, ..
Bogdan Droma has worked in Berlin for three months, between August and October 2014, at building the famous Mall of Berlin. As a result of weeks of work going unpaid, as well as of various forms of abusive treatment, he protested together with other workers between November 2014 and February 2015 on an almost daily basis, turning the popular designation of the mall into the Mall of Shame. The case of the Mall of Berlin workers is not an isolated one. Thus we wanted, together with Bogdan, to start a conversation regarding non-declared or off the books work as performed by immigrants in the West. Interview conducte ..
Note from LeftEast editors: This article was originally published in Bilten on 22 February 2016. On 20 February Romania celebrated 160 years since the official abolition of Roma slavery. In a typical Romanian way the event was, of course, surrounded by scandals and controversy. They are revealing insofar as they function as a symptom for the way Romanian society functions and for the very status of the Roma population. A couple weeks ago Nicolae Păun and Mădălin Voicu – two Social-Democrat MPs of Roma origin – were accused of money laundering and embezzlement. In a nutshell, the two allegedly misappropriat ..
Note from the LeftEast editors: 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 first 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. by Veda Popovici and Ovidiu Pop (translated from Romanian for LeftEast by Raluca Parvu) During the 18th century, philosophers from Western European kingdoms have elaborated a ..
The commemorative action “We are equal, not illegal!” took place in Cluj-Napoca, Romania on 17/12/2015. It involved people from the marginalized ‘residential’ space of the city (called Pata Rat) and from other areas with precarious and insecure housing conditions, as well as local activists for housing justice. This public event was a moment of joint struggle for housing rights. The participants gathered to commemorate their shared histories of forced evictions and housing insecurity, of being driven towards informal and precarious housing, of discrimination and institutionalized racism i ..
Note from the LeftEast editors: this article is published in cooperation with the Serbo-Croatian web portal Bilten.Org In recent weeks the miners are back again: This time not on the streets, but on the public agenda. The Romanian High Court, following a decision of the European Court of Human Rights reopened the file dealing with the events of 13-15 June 1990 in Bucharest. After 25 years of stalled investigations, the prosecutors decided it is time for a fresh look. Two things are clear. First, this decision cannot be separated from the current wave of arrests shattering the Romanian political class. It contin ..