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Fighting Back against the Patriarchal Backlash in Bulgaria. Interview with Kalina Drenska (LevFem, Bulgaria)

The EU recovery plan is reinforcing an idea of welfare and economic reconstruction which reproduces patriarchal and racist hierarchies and exploitation, while some EU member states like Italy and Greece are already promoting measures – like divorce regulations and child allowances laws – that materially make Istanbul Convention void of any meaning. But women have not been silent in these months and are organizing their counterattack. During the last E.A.S.T. public assembly we started to discuss the multifaceted dimensions of these patriarchal attacks and the struggles we can build together towards a big transnational mobilization. This interview with Kalina Drenska, member of E.A.S.T. and LevFem (Bulgaria) is the first of a series of texts that wants to start from Istanbul Convention to explore ongoing fights against violence against women and lgbtqi+ people, in their connections with the struggles against racist and exploitative policies. Kalina talks about the stratified political meanings attributed in Bulgaria to Istanbul Convention and shows the links between attacks on women and lgbtqi+ people and the policies of cutbacks that lead many women to find better living and working conditions abroad. Furthermore, she unveils the hard pathways that feminist struggles must take – in Bulgaria and beyond – to overturn isolation and accumulate power on the transnational level.

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“Twenty thousand farmers commit suicide in India every year” – Interview with Madhuresh Kumar

“The moment the more corporations are coming and the market players are coming, the prices will go further down. So as a result, when the input cost is very high, the farmers will not have the desired output. So I think the whole contention is around the fact that the laws are to benefit the corporate houses and the commercialization of agriculture. That’s the one, the second is that the minimum support prices structure and the government subsidies for the farmers, that will end, slowly the government will withdraw from it.”

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Interview with Wolfgang Streeck: “I definitely prefer a cooperative over an empire”

Note from LeftEast editors: This interview was originally published in Mérce, a left-wing news site in Hungary. It was conducted via e-mail and published on the occasion of Merkel’s departure from power, and to provide context for Hungary’s and Poland’s initial veto on the EU COVID19 recovery package. NL: For many Hungarians Germany is a […]

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Navalny’s Return and Left Strategy

Russia has had an eventful week and it’s not even finished. First, Alexey Navalny flew back to Moscow, then he was immediately arrested upon crossing the border, and the next day his team published a video illustrating Vladimir Putin’s own corruption and calling upon all citizens to come out to the streets against the government […]

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Police Brutality in Albania: “The Revolt Seems Like Something That Was Waiting to Happen”

Although the shooting of an unarmed citizen can be considered an isolated event, there has been an increasing escalation of violence by the police in recent years. We, as activists of Organizata Politike, have witnessed it while protesting alongside chromium miners, oil refinery workers, and students. A very violent intervention by the police took place last year against the artists who were defending the National Theatre against demolition.

This wave of repression also relates to a decision by the Ministry of Interior to send into early retirement more than 1,000 policemen from the older generation, replacing them over three years with younger newcomers in better physical condition but lacking any experience in handling complex situations. Such was the case of the policeman who killed Klodian; a man in his early twenties who had joined the force only recently, and who had been immediately transferred to one of the most infamous police units: “The Eagles.”

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Jihad, universalism, and the Left: A conversation with Darryl Li

Darryl Li’s recent historical ethnography of jihad fighters in 1990s Bosnia, The Universal Enemy, draws on the author’s legal background and anthropological training to connect the former Yugoslavia with the far-flung homes of the mujahideen and the US’s global carceral archipelago. Matan Kaminer of LeftEast spoke with Dr. Li about internationalism, cosmopolitanism, regionality and lessons for the Left.

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Interview with George Caffentzis, political philosopher and autonomist Marxist

This interview with George Caffentzis (also featuring Silvia Federici) was conducted by Tinta Limón Ediciones, and is included in the Spanish language edition of In Letters of Blood and Fire: Work, Machines, and the Crisis of Capitalism (2020). Sebastián Touza and Ezequiel Gatto participated in the interview.

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[INTERVIEW] From Internationalism to Postcolonialism: Literature & Cinema between the Second and the Third World

Note from LeftEast editors: A shortened version of Selim Nadi’s interview with Rossen Djagalov was published in Jacobin Magazine. Could there have been a Third World without the “Second”? Certainly, there could have been — but it would have looked very different. Most histories of these geopolitical blocs and their constituent societies and cultures are […]

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Part 2: The Power of ‘Weak Actors’ and Decolonizing Socialist Architectural Histories after 1989

Part 2 of a two-part interview with Łukasz Stanek by Zoltán Ginelli. Transcribed and edited by Zoltán Ginelli. Part 1 you can read HERE. Łukasz Stanek is Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) at the Manchester School of Architecture, The University of Manchester, UK. Stanek authored Henri Lefebvre on Space: Architecture, Urban Research, and the Production of Theory (2011) […]

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INTERVIEW: Tamás Krausz: “Reconstructing Lenin” beyond the lies and distortions

Professor of Russian history at the University of Budapest, Tamás Krausz is the author of an intellectual biography of Lenin. In this interview, Krausz draws a portrait of the October Revolution and the beginning of the Soviet experience, rigorously showing the contemporary relevance of Lenin’s analyses, as well as their limits, without yielding to the […]