Category Archives: Insert

Antifascism Is Not a Monument

The Sutjeska and Bijeljina monuments appear to stand for two profoundly divergent worlds, one symbolizing the cosmopolitan and antifascist past of socialist Yugoslavia, the other embodying the hyper-nationalist and segregationist present of post-Yugoslav states. Yet both monuments were made by the same sculptor. As I walked away, my stomach still churning, my first thought was not “How could this be?”, but “Oh no, not again.” Continue reading →

Closings and Openings: On (Im)Possibility of Translation

Note from LeftEast editors: The recent rise of far-right populisms and the general mood of crisis has triggered reflections among those who’ve experienced the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s on the lessons to be learnt from that conflict. The Disorder of Things blog is featuring a series of ‘Yugosplaining’ interventions, in which activists, artists, and thinkers from the region speak back to the Empire. You can find the articles here. New posts are being made daily throughout the month of July, including a commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide. We republished this article b ..

We Asked about the Bernie Sanders 2020 Campaign: Florin Poenaru

More gutting than Bernie Sander’s ultimate defeat in the Democratic primaries is the paradoxical context in which it happened. He exited the stage just as the policies he so much advocated in the past two electoral cycles, if not his entire career, were badly needed to fight the rampant consequences of the new corona virus. His moment thus came either too early, or definitely too late, to ensure him a solid electoral base in order to achieve the political power needed to implement those policies that could save the lives of millions of Americans. I am definitely in no position to judge Sander’s campaign and c ..

We Asked about the Bernie Sanders 2020 Campaign: Marina Antic

In the days following the end of Bernie’s initial 2016 campaign, I remember many of us put a lot of hope in Bernie’s plans for building a lasting organization beyond a national electoral campaign. The leftover funds and some of that grassroots energy were eventually directed into Our Revolution, an effort to elect progressive candidates and pursue issues Bernie brought to the forefront of Democratic party politics. Unfortunately, the results of this effort were negligible and underwhelming at best. Despite the electoral loss in 2016, Bernie’s first campaign was victorious in two very specific and profound w ..

We Asked about the Bernie Sanders 2020 Campaign: Julia Alekseyeva

For a brief moment, a little over a month ago, we thought it would be easy. I had amazing conversations with genuine and thoughtful people in five states. We shook hands and smiled and I stood in doorways and chatted with people in their homes and kitchens. I was finishing my monograph and teaching two grueling classes but that all took a back seat to the rush I felt from January to March. It felt like anything was possible, that goodness would prevail, that there could finally be justice and the righteous, thoughtful champion of human rights would win the election. The campaign was wonderful. It was full of kind ..

We Asked about the Bernie Sanders 2020 Campaign: Mary N. Taylor

I felt kicked in the gut, that morning when I heard Bernie had pulled out of the race. It was a surprising feeling, because in recent years I have been less and less passionate about electoral politics. The last electoral cycle had really sealed it for me: the Democratic Party establishment decided to represent their interests by making sure Bernie would not be the candidate even if it meant losing to Trump. With the promise of serving the “people” that the Republicans undermine, the Democratic Party establishment has again and again shown its alignment with Wall street. I could not believe in the Democrats t ..

What Is Holding Back the Formation of a Global Prison Abolitionist Movement to Fight COVID-19 and Capitalism?

A note from LeftEast editors: we reprint this statement of the Alliance of MENA socialist, with the kind permission of the organisation. The statement was originally published in Spectre Journal. The COVID-19 pandemic has given new urgency to the need to abolish prisons, refugee camps and the inhuman capitalist carceral system. Prisoner and refugee populations are facing an imminent death sentence from the fast spread of the virus in the crowded and unsanitary conditions of prisons and camps. During the past week, there have been protests inside some detention centers and prisons in the US, Iran, Italy and elsewh ..

How “love what you do” went wrong in an ‘academic sweatshop’ in Siberia

LeftEast reprints Natalia Savelyeva’s article with the permission of OpenDemocracy-Russia. We’re told that we should “do what we love” when it comes to our jobs. But what if loving what you do leads – slowly, imperceptibly – to abuse? In social sciences, a lot of work is dedicated to why people become committed to organisations. The classics, like Erving Goffman or Lewis Coser, claim that organisations can separate an individual – partly or totally, socially and sometimes physically – from her everyday environment and provide her with a new life-world and identity. Other resear ..

To remember is to fight: the legacy of Russian activist lawyer Stanislav Markelov

LeftEast is publishing this commemorate piece in collaboration with OpenDemocracy-Russia, who have been keeping Markelov’s memory alive in the English public sphere by translating his articles and getting others to write about him. Eleven years ago, this anti-fascist lawyer was murdered on the streets of Moscow. Stanislav Markelov’s legacy remains important to this day. Here we present a selection of his articles and interviews in English. Stanislav Markelov in his words and others’: Introduction: To remember is to fightGiuliano Vivaldi, Thomas RowleyRussia’s trade union movement, 1990s-2000sAlexa ..

We Asked on the Legacy of Corbynism: Adela Gjorgjioska

What has the Corbyn project meant – as a model, an inspiration, or otherwise – to you and people in the milieu(x) in which you organize? By 2015, when Jeremy Corbyn became leader of the Labour Party, I had already moved out of the UK after living there for 10 years. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that I wasforced out by a series of expensive, exhausting and emotionally draining visa extension processes. So, as a non-EU migrant, I had already experienced institutional xenophobia long before the Brexit saga brought it into the mainstream. Residence status strongly affects one’s relationship ..