Central Europe Review: politics, society and culture in Central and Eastern Europe
This week's articles are listed below


After a Year of New Government

Dzurinda Needs an EU Invitation to Survive

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Vaclav Pinkava:
Star Wars and Racism

Sam Vaknin:
Homo balkanus

Tomas Pecina:
Czech Myths

Catherine Lovatt:
Barely a state

Readers' Choice:
The most popular article last week

Polish Agriculture Ready for the Chop


Janez Burger's
V leru

Sergei Sniezhkin's
Cvety kalenduly




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Retribution in Kosovo

Polish Alternative Press



Gate-crashers at a Hungarian Picnic


Prose by Eva Hauserova

Book Shop


Music Shop


Central European
Culture in the UK


Transitions Online


Environmental Movements in Central and Eastern Europe

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Vol 1, No 11, 6 September 1999

Click to jump to the various sections of CER.

Stereotypes of Romania and Romanians abound
Is this the real Romania?
R O M A N I A ' S   I L L S:
Strays and Stereotypes

Stereotypes of Romania and Romanians abound. The most damaging is that they are a backward culture, simultaneously ignorant and corrupt, and that NATO and EU accession conditions will introduce a structure to overcome these flaws. It is a mistaken view, held by the West and by Romanian politicians alike.

Joanna Rohozinska

A key moment in the collapse of Communism was a picnic arranged on the Hungarian-Austrian border on 19 August 1989
Picnic on the carcass of Communism
T E N   Y E A R S   O N:
It All Started with a Picnic...

When Mikhail Gorbachev launched his policies of glasnost and perestroika, he did not anticipate that he would also do away with the only factor that ultimately held the Soviet empire together - fear. A key moment in the breaking of this grip of terror on Central and Eastern Europe was a picnic arranged on the Hungarian-Austrian border on 19 August 1989.

Paul Nemes

Alternative magazine bruLion M E D I A:
A Different Kind of Paper

The alternative press is nothing new in Poland as, for many years, there were magazines issued independently of the Communist system which discussed how to dismantle it. Now, however, the meaning of the term "alternative press" has changed. It is no longer associated with politics, but has diversified to almost exclusively cover arts, literature and ecology.

Wojtek Kosc

An eye for an eye for an eye for an eye...
Now you have to bury as many as we did
A F T E R M A T H:
Retribution in Kosovo

Kosovo's remaining Serbs are increasingly becoming the victims of revenge attacks across the province. Relying on eyewitness accounts, these notes from Natasa Kandic, director of the Fund for Humanitarian Law in Belgrade, describe some of the difficulties in the investigation of atrocities perpetrated by both sides in the conflict and suggest the fate of many of the new disappeared.

Natasa Kandic

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Dzurinda: still smiling after one year? Theme of the Week
One Year after the Ground-breaking Slovak Elections
A Year of New Government
Sharon Fisher
After twelve months in power, the Dzurinda government can claim many successes, but Meciarism is not disappearing as fast as everyone had hoped. Still, if Slovakia does not receive recognition for its efforts - in the form of an invitation to first-round EU enlargement talks at the Helsinki summit in November - Dzurinda's pro-Western government could collapse.

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CER's Regular Columns:

Homo balkanus
Sam Vaknin
How does one respond to a torrent of belligerent correspondence from people in the Balkans, arguing against the belligerence of people in the Balkans? This is the dilemma I face.
Vaclav Pinkava
22 years after his first blockbuster, George Lucas's retrospective Star Wars Episode I, The Phantom Menace, currently the third (second?) highest grossing movie of all time, is opening in Czech cinemas.
On Czechs,
the Great Myth-Makers

Tomas Pecina
Few nations have created so many myths about themselves as the Czechs. As with other national mythologies, Czech myths mostly concern the history and self-perception of the ethnic group.
Moldova: Barely a state
Catherine Lovatt
Sandwiched between Romania and Ukraine, politically unstable Moldova finds itself economically dependent on outside support and in a vulnerable position. Ethnic infighting complicates the matter and throws doubt on the future of her existence as an independent nation.

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Kinoeye: Film in Central and Eastern Europe Kinoeye

This week, in the continuing series of articles on the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, Kinoeye looks at two "chamber films" which are driven by characters and their inner feelings, rather than more general plot concerns.

Getting in Gear:
Janez Burger's V leru

Andrew J Horton
Slovenia is not noted for the high quality of its cinema. However, V leru (Idle Running, 1998) was one of the festival's more interesting films.
Chekhov's Post-perestroika Russia: Sergei Sniezhkin's Cvety kalenduly
Andrew J Horton
Not all literary films are based on books or plays. Sniezhkin's film evokes the spirit of Chekhov and shows how little Russia has changed since his time.

Resources on Central and East European cinema with a new section on animation this week.

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Books and Literature

Eva Hauserova's The Good Girl, 1970 and a Bit P R O S E:
The Good Girl, 1970 and a Bit

In our school primers we read about the tough job of the guards who watch our borders vigilantly to make sure they are not infiltrated by any disruptive elements. The Diversionary, the counter-revolutionary, creeping counter-revolution, enemies of the people's democratic order, bankrupts who do not want to see the success of really-existing socialism. All these lie in wait on the other side of the border.

Eva Hauserova

S U P P L E M E N T:
The CER Book Shop:
Books about Central and Eastern Europe

Have a look at CER's list of books on the region - all available from Amazon.com. The list is divided into five subject headings: cinema, literature, politics, history and economics.

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M   u   s   i   c

S U P P L E M E N T:
The CER Music Shop

In co-operation with Amazon.com, Central Europe Review offers you this on-line shopping supplement.


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O n   D i s p l a y

E V E N T S:
Coming Up in the UK

Details of selected Central and East European cultural events in the UK over the next few weeks.

Andrew J Horton

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Last Week's News in Central Europe:

Germany    RP Online

Hungary    Paul Nemes

Poland    Joanna Rohozinska and Donosy-English

Romania    Catherine and David Lovatt

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