“If Syriza succeeds with its program, at least to some extent, there will be a new living leftist model that can be used to oppose this weird association of Russia with “the left” or “communism” by default. This is really important not only for Bulgaria – which has usually been torn in two (between EU and Russia) but for the international perception of the left as well.”
Boryana Rossa, PhD, is an interdisciplinary artist and a curator. She is a member of New Left Perspectives and Haspel collectives Bulgaria.
1. What would it take for you to consider Syriza a success?
I think the fact Syrisa won the elections is already a success for the left idea and a hope for alternatives to neoliberalism in politics and economics in the EU. If they succeed to stick to their program, at least to an extent and Greece starts to move towards self-sustainability and less dependence on imported money- this will be a real success.
2. And what would make you consider it a failure:
If the government turns towards the policies of the previous governments, which were serving Euro-centrism – of course this would be a failure. If Greece accepts dependence on other countries such as Russia, to deal somehow with the economic situation, in case the negotiations with the EU fail – this will be a failure too. Russia is the worst answer right now and a union with it will be even worse than with the EU, because Russia is currently a totalitarian, imperialist and a religious state. The “union” between Orthodox Christian countries, as one of the geopolitical ideas being perpetuated in Russia, is really evil and brings capitalist dependence, religious corruption and brainwashing into the process.
3. What do you think will actually happen?
I think that there will be negotiations with the EU and some compromise will be reached. Greece is an important part of the EU conceptually, because of the history of the European civilization and democracy in general. It seems to me that even if Greece can be “sacrificed” (for the sake of the ‘health’ of the money system and the banks) and be detached from the EU for economic reasons, its detachment will conceptually put an end to the idea of united Europe and democracy. And I think that this conceptual component of the Greek case will play a very important role in the negotiations and the willingness of the “money givers” to make a compromise.
4. What does the victory of Syriza mean for the left in Bulgaria?
We are watching with hope, but also with a bit of anxiety and uncertainty that real change will happen. If something changes in Greece there will be changes in other countries. In Bulgaria people are still very skeptical about leftist ideas and are reproducing anti-communist clichés from the beginning of the 1990s. There is a sentiment towards Russia, which in many cases is related to the old leftism in the country. For some reason some people still believe that Putin’s expansion and annexation of Crimea is a return to the USSR, which is very strange since Russia is not a socialist country anymore. If Syriza succeeds at least to some extent with its program, there will be a new living leftist model that can be used to oppose this weird association of Russia with “the left” or “the communism” by default. This is also really important not only for Bulgaria – which has usually been torn in two (between EU and Russia) but for the international understanding of the left.
5. How do you imagine your organization cooperating with Syriza?
Currently, I see Syriza more as an informational partner. Creating a space where leftist ideas will be popularized. Solidarity in international actions.