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

The Issue (#7):
A Queer Taboo

Andrew Stroehlein


Homosexuality in
Central and
Eastern Europe

Gay Outlaws
in Romania

Kinoeye Special:
Gay Cinema

Gay Life in


Indie Music

Music Shop

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Michael Kopanic:
Slovakia Zeroing in on the EU

Gusztav Kosztolanyi:
Hungarian TV: Privatisation and scandal

Jan Culik:
Czech Revival
Has No Pulse

Mel Huang:
The Baltic Quest
for NATO

Sam Vaknin:
Should Eastern
Europe Invest in IT?

Tomas Pecina:
The Quality of
Czech Thieves

Vaclav Pinkava:
Artistic Revolution


Belarusian Paradoxes

Becomes Boring


Baltic States

Readers' Choice:
The most popular article last week

A Shadow Serbia

Contact CER to find out more about our Virtual Internship Programme


Karoly Makk's
Egymasra nezve

David Ondricek's


Book Review:
A New Czech

One Third

Book Shop


Dan Puric's
Toujours L'Amour

Central European
Culture in the UK


Stop Defending
Non-existent Nations

But Our Identity Is Our Reality


Transitions Online


The Consumer

with your comments
and suggestions.

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Vol 1, No 7, 9 August 1999

Click to jump to the various sections of CER.

Bratislava N E W S M A K E R S:
Slovakia Becomes Boring

An inexperienced Clinton crony will soon become the new US ambassador in Bratislava. He is unlikely to be anything more than a smiling figurehead. This is yet another good sign that Slovakia has arrived.

Juraj Lisiak

Belarusians are struggling P O S T - S O V I E T   O R P H A N:
Belarusian Paradoxes

Belarusians are struggling to rebuild their post-Soviet economy, define their nation's identity and develop an understanding of their country's place in history all at the same time. To fully comprehend this society, one must also understand how its members operate in this unique community.

Peter Szyszlo

Debate: Nation and ethnicity in Central and Eastern Europe D E B A T E:
The Defence of 'Ethnic Hungarians'

Successive Hungarian governments have learned to paraphrase nationalist demands in terms of human rights discourse. However, while others talk of 'Russian speakers' or of 'German speakers in Italy', one only ever hears the term 'ethnic Hungarians' in Central European discourse. This is sadly obscuring the fact that there are no ethnic groups in reality.

Cas Mudde

Debate: Nation and ethnicity in Central and Eastern Europe D E B A T E:
Different Yet Tolerant

For us Hungarians, the unshakeable belief that we are qualitatively different to others is expressed as ethnic difference, in other words, an irreducible given. Language reinforces the belief in qualitative, immutable difference, in ethnicity. It is the type of collective fiction that has been cemented into social fact. Still, Hungary is more tolerant toward minorities than most of her neighbours.

Gusztav Kosztolanyi

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homosexuality in Central and Eastern Europe Theme of the Week
in Central and
Eastern Europe

Gay Outlaws in Romania
Catherine Lovatt
With same-sex relationships against the law, Romania's attitude to homosexuality is decidedly puritan. But not all is negative, nor everyone a bigot.
Kinoeye Special:
Gay Cinema in Central Europe
Being Gay in Hungary:
A few facts and figures

Gusztav Kosztolanyi
The bare facts about gay life in Hungary and the links to explore further.
A Queer Taboo
Andrew Stroehlein
Since the fall of Communism, everything else has come out of the closet - why not gay and lesbian issues?

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CER's Regular Columns:

The Cost of Joining the Club
Michael Kopanic
The challenge for the current Slovak government is to convince the citizens that the present-day sacrifices are worth the price; the people have become increasingly cynical about politicians and their promises.
No Pulse 99
Jan Culik
A new manifesto, Impuls 99, aims to save Czech society. Sadly, it does little more than fulfil the need of some Czech intellectuals to pompously pontificate in public.
The Solow Paradox
Sam Vaknin
If investment in information technology actually retards growth, then economies in transition should avoid it, at least until a functioning marketplace is there to counter its growth-suppressing effects.
The Other Brussels Target
Mel Huang
Despite the intense effort Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are making to increase their chances of European Union membership, there is another, perhaps more important, goal which lies in Brussels: NATO.
Artistic Revolution
Vaclav Pinkava
Art and architecture in Prague. From the merely revolving to the downright revolting.
On Doormats, Men and the Quality of Thieves
Tomas Pecina
Czechs seem to be measuring their living standards not by what they have but rather by what others don't have.
"No one's jamming their transmission..."
Gusztav Kosztolanyi
In this second part of our series on television broadcasting in Hungary, we examine privatisation and the scandals surrounding it.

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Kinoeye: Film in Central and Eastern Europe

K  i  n  o  e  y  e

The number of Central and East European films which deal frankly with homosexuality doesn't even reach double figures. Those which do have differing motives for doing so.

Cupid's Arrow Blunted by Bureaucracy?
Karoly Makk's Egymasra nezve

Andrew J Horton
Few Central European films deal openly with gay themes, the majority of those which do depict the male experience. However, in 1982, a Hungarian film about lesbian love and the corruption of Communism astounded audiences on both sides of the Iron Curtain.
The Straight and Narrow Path:
David Ondricek's Septej

Andrew J Horton and
Kazi Stastna

The emergence of gay characters as protagonists in Central European cinema might be thought to signal some form of liberalism and acceptance; however, with its cliche portrayals of homosexuality and cowardly approaches toward drugs and sex, Septej is a step backward.

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Books and Literature

Book review of Bozena Nemcova's The Grandmother B O O K   R E V I E W:
The Grandmother
Bozena Nemcova

Babicka deserves its status as a Czech classic; Kundera is correct to refer to Nemcova as "the mother of Czech prose." However, the book is not nearly as well known outside the Czech lands as it should be. This new edition from One Third Publishers could help to change that.

Reviewed by James Partridge
One Third Publishers

Here is a sampling of the current and upcoming treats of a small press based in the Czech Republic which is publishing unique editions of Czech and Slovak literaure, as well as some original works of the political and cultural history of these countries.

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

'Jass' musician Ryszard Tymanski M U S I C:
Rebellion at the Fringes

Over the past ten years, the independent music scene in Poland has undergone a major transformation. It is no longer simply a way of expressing anger against an oppressive system. It has become more diversified, has found new themes to confront and has placed a greater emphasis on quality rather than on ideology.

Wojtek Kosc

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

Catherine Lovatt T H E A T R E:
Actions Speak Louder than Words
Dan Puric's Toujours L'Amour

This year, the Gate theatre in London's Notting Hill is home to a series of five East European plays as part of the first of its first summer international season. Toujours L'Amour, written and directed by Dan Puric, is a performance without words which uses a mixture of music, dance and mime to deliver a humorous exploration of love and relationships.

Catherine Lovatt

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:

The Baltic States    Mel Huang

Germany    RP Online

Hungary    Paul Nemes

Poland    Joanna Rohozinska and Donosy-English

Romania    Catherine and David Lovatt

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