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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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[E.A.S.T.] Stop the Fascist Attacks against LGBTQI+ People in Bulgaria!

Note from LeftEast editors: Towards the transnational mobilization on July 1st against the attack on the Istanbul Convention and the patriarchal backlash that is hitting women and LGBT+ people all around the world, we republish a text which first appeared on the website of the platform Transnational Social Strike (TSS). The text, written by Stoyo Tetevenski, member […]

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From the Pandemic to a Sea of Ignorance: On Bulgaria’s Neoliberal Educational Reform

Note from LeftEast editors: We publish this article in collaboration with the regional portal Bilten, where it originally appeared in Croatian. The correlation between educational and social inequalities in Bulgaria has long been at the center of public debate. However, rarely do we hear reform proposals beyond the existing neoliberal educational model based on competition, decentralization […]

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Bulgarian elections of 2021: repackaging the same old (TV) story

Bulgaria held inconclusive general elections on April 4, 2021. The hitherto center-right ruling party GERB won them but with a result preventing it from forming a government. A nascent anti-GERB coalition is shaping up in Parliament, led by “There is such a people”: a new formation headed by a famous Bulgarian TV host.

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(Post)pandemic struggles in social reproduction: Women’s labour before and during the COVID-19 pandemic in Bulgaria

Note from the LeftEast editors: The present text, which we co-publish together with TSS, is part of a series of publications and webinars on the topics of social reproduction, (women’s) labor, and migration in East-Central Europe and beyond. The video from the webinar (Post)pandemic struggles in social reproduction, where this text was first presented, can be seen here(in […]

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(Post)pandemic struggles in social reproduction: What did Bulgarian teachers learn from the pandemic?

Note from the LeftEast editors: The present text, which we co-publish together with TSS, is part of a series of publications and webinars on the topics of social reproduction, (women’s) labor, and migration in East-Central Europe and beyond. The video from the webinar (Post)pandemic struggles in social reproduction, where this text was first presented, can be seen here […]

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[Podcast] Neda Deneva: Being taken care of. The case of medicalizing birth-giving.

Note from LeftEast editors: We share this podcast with the permission of its producers from Contrasens. “Contrasens” is a podcast which explores current themes in the field of the social sciences. The project aims to bring to the forefront and make as accessible as possible research conducted by sociologists, anthropologists and other specialists from related […]

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Sick Leave: the Hidden Class Wars in Bulgaria

Note from LeftEast editors: We republish this from the Croatian portal Bilten, where it originally appeared. Bulgaria has some of the lowest wages and lowest productivity rates in Europe, and, not surprisingly, some of the highest rates of out-migration. Employees and employers agree on that, but on little else. Yet with the country’s economy growing […]

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We Asked on the Legacy of Corbynism: Mariya Ivancheva

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? What was at stake with this project was in equal measure painfully distant and painfully close to the contexts I am immersed in, and to an extent represent. In […]

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Let Jock Palfreeman Speak! Part I of a Two-Part Interview

In this interview originally published in Bulgarian on dversia.net, the leader of the Bulgarian Prisoners’ Association speaks with Polina Manolova on the loss of justice, his activism, and left alternatives. Polina Manolova: On 19th of September 2019 Jock Palfreeman was granted parole after serving almost 12 years in Bulgarian prison for fatally stabbing a neo-Nazi […]