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Strategies of resistance among queer people in the USSR

Note from LeftEast Editors: This article was originally published in Russian by the DOXA Journal. It was translated from the Russian by Michael Baker and edited by Arina Gundyreva. Today, queer people in Russia are forced to oppose systematic discrimination, occasionally even forcing them into emigration. In the USSR however, with closed borders and absolutely […]

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LeftEast in the Dialectics of the Region’s Left

LeftEast has been around for just over eight years. It was preceded by two summer schools in Budapest, where some of its future editors—leftist East European(ist)s—met in a moment of happy recognition. One of them, Florin Poenaru, also happened to be the editor of the Romanian site CriticAtac, which hosted another meeting of East European […]

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In the name of the communist ideal

One of the received ideas that became a ‘truth’ after the fall of the Berlin Wall was that the Soviet bloc’s populations cursed communism, yet obeyed it slavishly. In fact, many social movements within the Eastern bloc had long aspired to genuine socialism. This article was first published in the French edition of Le Monde […]

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A Utopian in the Balkans

This book review was originally published by New Left Review. Darko Suvin, Splendour, Misery and Possibilities: An X-Ray of Socialist Yugoslavia. Haymarket Books: Chicago 2018. How is it, asks Darko Suvin, with Brechtian directness, that socialist Yugoslavia started out so well, yet ended up so very badly? In answering that question he has produced an extraordinary work […]

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May Day in the Making

Click on the triangular “play” button above to hear this segment. In this audeo clip, first broadcast by Public Radio International/WNYC in New York, historian Peter Linebaugh discusses the history and future of International Workers Day–or, to use the title of his latest book, “the incomplete, true, authentic and wonderful history of May Day.” Many […]

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„When is it time to act if not now?!” Participatory action research about housing movements in Hungary

Ilona Csécsei – Andrea Csengei – Mariann Dósa – Imre Kleiner – Magdolna Palotai – Ibolya Tünde Szakmáry – Zoltán Sziráki – Károly Szombathy – István Tompa – Éva Tessza Udvarhelyi – Nándor Wittmann (as known as “When is it time to act if not now?!” research group) “Something should be done, but I don’t […]

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Hungary: The Destruction of Reason and the Semi-Destruction of an Archive

Editors’ note:The legacy of Marxist Philosopher György Lukács has been under attack in Budapest. In 2016, protests began against the closure of the Lukács Archive, located in the philospher’s former home. In March 2017,  Lukács’ statue was removed from Szent Istvan Park, after a proposal from the Jobbik party was accepted by the Fidesz-dominated Budapest […]

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Poland’s War on Historical Memory

The electoral victory of the Law and Justice Party (Prawo i Sprawiedliwość, PiS) has initiated a number of changes. Being a conservative party and appealing to right-wing resentments, historical politics were always an important part of the party’s policies. A ‘fair and honest’ historical politics were a way to build a new national identity and […]

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A Nation of Masters?: Dispatches from the Frontlines of the Bulgarian Memory Wars

We are grateful to Bilten, where this article will appear in BCS. — “Common sites of memory are not sites of common memory”, prof. Lilyana Deyanova (Obektiv, October 2012) — A few years ago, the Bulgarian sociologist Andrei Raitchev observed that with the establishment of a broad consensus among all parties on the necessity for liberal pro-market […]

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The Russian Revolution in Dreams and Reality

(source: WdW Review) In January 2014 the world held its breath and observed the opening of the Winter Olympics in Sochi. The spectacular opening ceremony, “Dreams of Russia,” was not simply a technical triumph but also a marvel of national history building. The depicted historical events acquired connections and a certain mutual continuity, building a […]