Vol 1, No 18, 25 October 1999
R U S S I A:
More Aid, Fewer Strings
The West can still help solve the devastating economic problems facing Russia, but a fundamental change in Western aid policy is necessary. Paradoxically, despite the probable theft of some international assistance funds in the 1990s, the means to a successful Western policy on aid lies with fewer, not more, restrictions on its use.
David M Kotz
C Z E C H R E P U B L I C:
|Tenth Anniversary Wall
A Depressing Decade
In the first article of a four-part series on minorities in Central Europe, we look at the condition of the Roma in the Czech Republic. For the Roma, the ten years since the Revolution in 1989 have been anything but velvet.
As Yugoslavia wrenched itself apart, cultural activity in the successor states focused on the issues which led to the break-up - diversity, identity, machismo and violence - as well as the actual events themselves. This body of work ranges from the hilariously comic to the painfully harrowing and from the cosmopolitan to the nationalistic.
Mixing everything from cabaret to drum 'n' bass and using frequently using syncopation and polyrythms, Vrooom have won international recognition with their idiosyncratic originality.
The Impossibility of Independence
Conducting a serious analysis of the current state of Yugoslav theatre is not an easy task, primarily due to the fact that the general political climate in the country influences all aspects of everyday life, including theatre. In this brief survey, an insider of the Belgrade theatre scene takes a look at independent theatres' struggle to stay afloat in a sea of bureaucracy and ancient institutional structures.
The Pursuit of Unhappiness
In light of the encroaching forces of economic and cultural globalization on the one hand and ethnic, nationalistic and religious fundamentalism on the other, it seems that culture represents the last remaining sphere able to preserve some of the features of a specific national experience. Slovenia serves as an example of the necessity to develop a cosmopolitan attitude which is characterized by a reflection of both local cultural tradition and international codes of expression.
Erosion or Survival
The Hungarians in Vojvodina have so far escaped the terror of ethnic cleansing. CER talks to Alpar Losoncz, who lectures on and in the region about how Hungarians are holding on to their culture in Vojvodina under the distant threat of violence.
A wide selection of English and original-language sites and articles on culture from the former Yugoslavia.
A Not Entirely Harmonious Success
Slovenian development of contemporary music, with flourishing strands of avant-gardism, modernism and post-modernism.
Continuing with this week's theme,
Kinoeye looks at post-Yugoslav film.
|RAINDANCE FILM FESTIVAL:
Vignettes of Violence
Andrew J Horton
Post-Yugoslav cinema can scarcely avoid portraying violence, given the country's recent history. Directors have shown varying attitudes to the subject, however.
CER's Regular Columns:
The Mioritic Space
A look at poet and philosopher Lucien Blaga's attempts to define notions of "Romanianness" through a complex and mystical theory of cultural influences and collective unconsciousness.
Are Czechs really a "dove-like nation"? And what is a dove, anyway?
Deflating Election Experience
Estonia held its final elections of the millennium for all local councils on 17 October in quite an unspectacular fashion. As both politicians and voters remained burnt out from the hard-fought general elections in March earlier this year, the local elections seemed a bit of an anticlimax.
|CULIK'S CZECH REPUBLIC:
Rather than indulging in hypocritical posturing, we should simply admit that Czech-Romani relations suffer from serious and complex problems, and these should be tackled from both sides.
The Myth of Greater Albania: From Illyrium to Skanderberg
Part 2 of this series exploring the convenient myth of a Greater Albania and the real history of the country.
Books and Literature
B O O K R E V I E W:
Fantasies of Salvation
In his recent book Fantasies of Salvation: Democracy, Nationalism and Myth in Post-Communist Societies, Vladimir Tismaneanu tries to explain the rise of nationalism and anti-liberal ideologies by discussing the political psychology of post-Communism.
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.
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.
O n D i s p l a y
Coming Up in the UK
Andrew J Horton
Details of selected Central and East European cultural events in the UK over the next few weeks.
L e t t e r s to C E R
On Czech Regionalisation
I have just read your article on the Czech Republic 1992 to 1999. I think the article is a useful guide, but please allow me to comment on the matter of Czech regionalisation, as there are some inaccuracies in your text.
Mel Huang and his Baltic news reviews are on holiday for two weeks.
EU UPDATE: EC Progress Report issued for the Central and East European applicant countries.