viewpoint-east.org

Former West rather than Former East?

Category: 1989, eastern europe
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(Läsningstid: 2 minuter)

I can’t say I am the kind of person, and also journalist, that regularly takes part of what the “old media” (“gammelmedia” in Swedish, as the Swedish Pirate Party’s party leader Richard Falkvinge call the traditional media) but every now and then I actually listen to BBC online. But during the last two months I have avoided it and that has been in a vain try to escape documentaries about 1989 and the Fall of the Berlin wall. No, this is NOT because I am in some kind of weird sorrow over the fall of the wall, but because I actually objects against that total prevail of interpretation the “old media” actually has and takes. Yesterdays whining about Peter Day, is actually how my irritation could be … designed.

This is why I am so really, so very proud to be able to introduce a project for you that really problematizes the idea about what actually happened and still are happening after 1989!

fomer west

Former West is a project with the intention to criticize our apprehension of what have changed in ours societies since 1989. They claim that now only Eastern Europe have change, but also Western world. For many of us it seems like a rather obvious reflection, but it is also all too clear that, simultaneously, we somehow imagine the changes after 1989 as Eastern Europe went through a paradigm shift, while Western world stood still and entire. Like Eastern Europe must learn everything like a little child from the educative and nursing mother, the West. The more you think about it the more absurd it gets! I am actually rude enough to claim that the considering part of (former) Western politicians, bureaucrats, journalist, professors etc etc have swallowed an interpretation like that, just because it it is easier and more convenient – in that way they don’t need to reconsider their positions and so called reality.

I have to admit this is a simplified version of the project and I do not claim that I am even close to the complexity of their dimensions. And I do admit that also I every now and then forgets and sometimes calls Former Eastern Europe, just because it is easier to explain what geographical area I’m actually talking about! But even so, I am so glad that projects like Former West actually exists. We need them! Oh, we need them far too much! However, I just hope that one day we won’t need them as much …

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The world interpreted by Peter Day and BBC

Category: eastern europe, ukraina, ukraine
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(Läsningstid: 1 minut)

Listening to BBC World Service and Peter Day’s interview with Borys Luzhkin, I get if not irritated but at least a bit tired. He introduce the interview by asking Luzhhkin how he could be such a great entrepreneur when he was born and raised in Soviet Union. *sighing* When I look around me I often see much more creative, ambiguous and innovative people outside Western Europe and US, and when I come to Kyiv, for instance, I often get stunned with new ways of thinking and developing, for instance, in media, such that is required of an entrepreneur. In general, I believe it is Western Europe (and etc) that is rather retarded and not very creative in that respect. Yes, sorry, Peter Day, that even includes you : )))

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Utan språk inget val

Category: by sophie engström, ukraina, ukraine
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(Läsningstid: 4 minuter)

“Det är uppenbart”, tänker jag när jag sammanfattar förra veckans svenska nyheter om Ukraina, “att 17 januari annalkars”. Lika klockrent som ett julspel börjar svensk mediakår framställa Ukraina från landets allra sämsta sida. Med det menar jag det tryne som aldrig tycks få nog av politiska bråk, som formligen älskar att vältra sig i korruption, rysk gas och i total själv förödmjukelse då landet gör precis det som Ryssland varnar EU “att Ukraina nog kommer att göra” – med andra ord, sno gas och framstå som en sann byfåne. Och trots att det är klassiskt snaskigt, som en riktig segsliten gammal dokusåpa, så är inte det orsaken till att jag aldrig trycks upphöra att av förundras, förbluffas, förförs av och förälskas i Ukraina. Det är kanske helt enkelt en annan typ av motsägelse som förundrar mig.

kyiv nights
En suddig Bohdan Khmelenytsky. Kanske bäst så. Historien förtäljer att denna Hetman från 1600-talets första hälft, inte bara förföljde och mördade judar i tusental, utan också skrev på det avtal som slutligen ledde till att Ukrainas oberoende inskränktes och landet blev en del av det ryska imperiet.

Continue reading…

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Jusjenko hatar

Category: by sophie engström, ukraina, ukraine
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(Läsningstid: 1 minut)

Enligt dagens UNIAN tillkännager den ukrainske presidenten Viktor Jusjenko att han hatar politik, och att tänker lämna politiken … men först om fem år. För först är hans ambition att vinna presidentvalet den 17 januari 2010. Enligt de flesta bedömare är det knappast en rimlig önskan från presidenten. Han är enormt impopulär, även om det finns beundrare som gapar för full hals och på sitt sätt har väl denne beundrare rätt. Jusjenko har varit extra ordinär, och saknar i viss mån motstycke. Men jag skulle också vilja tillägga att jag är Jusjenko evigt tacksam… för att han tog bort visum tvånget till Ukraina. I övrigt verkar han vara lika korrupt som sina motspelare, Tymosjenko och Janukovitj. Om jag fick rösta i det ukrainska presidentvalet skulle jag nog föredra pingviner, om inte annat för att utmana homofobin ; ) även om romanen i länken ovan inte utmanar heteronormativa värderingar är den faktiskt läsvärd.

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Rubrikoproffset har blivit rubrikprofet

Category: by sophie engström, ukraina, ukraine
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(Läsningstid: 1 minut)

Yay!

Ibland är mina rubrikval inte så tokiga ändå. Jag var typ 3 år före Per-Arne Bodin här!!

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“Gender Check” now!

Category: 1989, art, by sophie engström, eastern europe, gender, ukraine
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(Läsningstid: 2 minuter)

From the 13th of November 2009 to 14th February 2010 the exhibition “Gender Check – Femininity and Masculinity in the Art of Eastern Europe” is exhibited at MUMOK, Museum Moderner Kunst, Stiftung Ludwig, in Vienna.

gender check

Gender Check is a project initiated in order to highlight on the 20th anniversary of the the revolution, or fall of iron curtain, in Eastern Europe, with a gender perspective. The curator Bojana Pejić, from Belgrade, has been asked to put together the exhibition by ERTSE Foundation.

The research project Gender Check also had, and still have I guess, the ambition to put gender issues in Eastern Europe in focus, since questions about inequality and gender structures have problems to compete with other issues, such as the financial crisis or climate change for instance. Still, gender has, as many knows, an huge impact on everyday life and on those issues mentioned above. During six month Gender Check commissioned researchers from 24 countries to collect East european official and unofficial art from 1960s to the 1989. The exhibition “Gender Check – Femininity and Masculinity in the Art of eastern Europe” at MUMOK is the result of their joint efforts.

And last, read the interview with Olga Bryukhovetska (PhD, National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Visual Culture Research Center) on Hedwig Saxenhuber’s research in Ukraine.

Thus there was a kind of vicious “pre established harmony” between the naturalized ideology of a sexist and patriarchal society which manifested itself in its practices and denial of these discriminative practices on the declared level of the official ideology. A similar structure was in operation in every marginalized social group, preventing it from fully realizing its own marginality and effectively obstructing any resistant practices (the position and consciousness of the Soviet working class being probably the most striking example of the consequences of such perverted ideological twists).

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Hopefully a helping hand for NGOs in Russia

Category: by sophie engström, NGO, russia
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(Läsningstid: 1 minut)

According to AFP president Dmitry Medvedev has announced that he will submit a new bill for human activist organizations and NGOs in Russia. It was in 2006 that Vladimir Putin, then president, signed a legislation on that all NGOs had to registrate at the state and an increased control of their financial situation. This was one of the actions then-president Putin took that made EU and other countries to worry about that democratic development of Russia. Even though this is a step in the right direction it is yet to be showed if president Medvedev will be able to hold his more liberal approach.

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