Vol 1, No 21, 15 November 1999
P O S T - C O M M U N I S M:
| Lick rear and affix
The Unbearable Lightness of
Being an Intellectual
The role of intellectuals within the Communist regimes of Central Europe underwent several phases, but there was hardly a single country in which they did not question the system. Today, however, intellectuals are afraid to exercise their critical role, often acting as courtesans serving the post-Cold War establishment.
I M M I G R A T I O N:
Living in a Policy Vacuum
Greece has been a popular haven for Albanian emigrants, often crossing the border illegally. The exodus has strained relations between the two countries, a fact not helped by the lack of concrete policies on either side.
in Slow Motion
In this second instalment of our three-part series on the mis-management of radioactive waste in the Soviet Union, we examine the effects this mishandling has had on Russia's surrounding waters.
Revival and Struggle
Although Hungary's Jews are enjoying a cultural blossoming, its Roma haven't found things quite so rosy. We continue our look at minorities in Central Europe today.
Theme of the week:
Building Homes, Building Politics
Juan Jose Gomez Gutierrez
After World War II, Berlin lay in ruins and extensive redevelopment was needed. As well as providing housing and work-places, the politicians and urban planners wanted to rebuild German politics and to bring a new sense of peace. The results on either side of the Wall were very different.
A Tale of Many Cities
Poland's Silesia region is best known for its coal mines, steel plants and polluted environment, and although it held a cherished place in the hearts of past Communist governments, today, the region is facing both the difficult legacy of its past and the equally difficult prospect of its future.
From Precariousness to Disaffection: The homeless in Prague
Isabelle Le Rouzic
While much of what the homeless in Prague tell me is no different from what I might hear in Paris, London or New York, there is something different about the post-Communist situation. Here the homeless are experiencing more than the breakdown of their personal lives (loss of work, loss of housing, alienation from family); here there is a rupture in the very community itself, and this compounds their problems.
Just before midnight on 9 September, after a grueling, 12-hour marathon session, the Prague City Council finally approved a master plan that will guide development in the Golden City for the next ten years. Everyone, from city politicians to investors and ordinary residents, agrees that the zoning plan is urgently needed. But the 9 September decision, which brought to an official close discussions that had dragged on for almost a decade, has done little to resolve fundamental differences and will simply usher in the next series of battles for the city's future.
In 1937, Bulgaria's nature-admiring and mountain-climbing Tsar, Boris III, ensured that Sofia would be graced with large gardens and parks, but today, the city's green claim to fame is threatened. Since 1990, parks are slowly being destroyed to open up space for commercial developments and the city is using money from the sale of lands to private owners to help fill its coffers.
| B u d a p e s t:
Budapest: A Sustainable City?
Sustainability is a fairly new concept and not just in Hungary. In a situation where the majority of the population eke out a living month by month, it appears remote from ordinary concerns, a term to be trotted out by politicians paying obeisance to Europe in the hope of attracting funds or speeding up the accession process.
Budapest's Second City
On 12 November, Central Europe's largest multi-use facility to date opened
in Budapest. At 80,000 square metres, the enormous, centrally located Westend City Centre is an impressive development which will include a shopping center, movie theater, office building, promenade and hotel. And although developers point to examples of successful models in Western European capitals, lingering questions about the longevity and long-term effects of the project remain.
|An Interview with Jozsef Finta
As architect of the Westend City Centre and many of Budapest's other major real estate developments of the past decade, Jozsef Finta is the man shaping today's Budapest.
CER's Regular Columnists:
|CULIK'S CZECH REPUBLIC:
TV Nova, the Health Secretary and Other Problems
An analysis of some major programmes broadcast on Czech radio and television over the past few weeks clearly shows the principles by which the Czech media operate. They are primarily the principles of the Western tabloid media.
A Beginning, Not an End
While Ossis and Wessis were embracing at the suddenly open Berlin Wall, the peoples of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania still remained locked in Soviet shackles. However, the collapse of the Wall was one of the most potent catalysts for the increase in activities of the Baltic national movements.
Is Transition Possible?
(or Can Socialist Professors of Economics Teach Capitalism?)
Capitalism is more than just a theoretical construct, and this fact is a major impediment to the democratization of former Communist countries.
THE KINOEYE ARCHIVE
A Bygone Harmony
Andrzej Wajda's Pan Tadeusz
Wajda has been involved in film for around half a century now and is commonly regarded as the father of modern Polish cinema. His latest offering, an adaptation of a well-loved Polish literary classic, shows that he has not lost his touch with the passing years.
Resources on Central and East European cinema.
Books and Literature
P O E T R Y:
Translated by Kirsty Hooper
has published eleven collections since his debut Zimne kraje (1992), which was widely considered to be one of the most exciting poetic debuts of the decade. His penultimate collection, Piesni profane (1998), was a finalist in the Ex Libris Nike '99 literary competition. These translations are from Swietlicki's latest collection of poetry, Schizma (Gladyszow, 1999).
B O O K R E V I E W:
The 1998 Parliamentary Elections and Democratic Rebirth in Slovakia
This series of essays edited by Martin Butora, Grigorij Meseznikov, Zora Butorova and Sharon Fisher, aims to provide a broad picture of Slovak politics and the context which led to the ouster of Vladimir Meciar in September 1998. The political bias of the authors is evident and self-confessed - as the title makes it clear.
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.
Poland's Week in Culture
Highlights of cultural events in Poland for the week starting 8 November 1999.
Receive Central Europe Review
free via e-mail