|Art Criticism during Wartime: Why Not Everything is a Cultural Policy||Seminars and Colloquia||Anna KaluherKatherine Younger||
What does art criticism mean during wartime? How does decolonization manifest within Ukrainian art criticism in 2022–2023? What are the risks of limiting ourselves to the diplomatic function of cultural policy realization, even if it seems to be the only viable option for action? These questions were explored during this Fellows Colloquium.
|Irony in Politics||Seminars and Colloquia||Gergely TóthMisha Glenny||
Irony has always fascinated thinkers, artists and frankly, everyone reflecting on the smaller and bigger paradoxes of life. Since the Romantic movement, irony is understood to be more than an “average” trope; it has been framed, variously, as an attitude, a discursive strategy or even the source of freedom. According to Søren Kierkegaard, “[j]ust as philosophy begins with doubt, so also a life that may be called human begins with irony. […] no genuinely human life is possible without irony.”
|How left-wing parties deal with immigration: Notes from France||Seminars and Colloquia||Ludger HagedornMadeleine Schwartz||
|The One That Got Away / Everyday Life During Armed Conflicts||Seminars and Colloquia||Dimiter KenarovKeith KrauseLudger HagedornPaweł PieniążekSoli Özel||
Series: Seminars and Colloquia
In this Joint Fellows Colloquium we had presentations from two of our current Fellows, both from the Milena Jesenská Fellowship Program for Journalists, Dimitar Kenarov and Paweł Pieniążek.
Dimitar Kenarov is a freelance journalist and poet based in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Paweł Pieniążek is a Polish journalist covering conflicts in Eastern Europe and the Middle East.
|Religious Fundamentalism and the Decline of Women’s Reproductive Rights in Central Europe||Seminars and Colloquia||Amanda CoakleyDennis PattersonIvan Vejvoda||
In the shadow of population decline some Central European states have turned their attention to curtailing women’s access to abortion and in the case of Poland, effectively outlawing it. These policy moves are not only the work of illiberal governments. They are also heavily linked to religious institutions who for decades have labelled women’s reproductive rights as enemy number one on the battlefield of moral values. Calling for a “return to traditional family values” is not the path to economic and social prosperity. Yet it is a clarion call sounded from Warsaw to Budapest. Furthermore, these moves are indicative of the Church’s desire to maintain its political as well as religious influence as a growing number of people in the region chose a more secular life.
|Crimes Without Punishments and Damaged Collective Identities||Seminars and Colloquia||Jerko Bakotin||
Speakers: Jerko Bakotin
Series: Seminars and Colloquia
The lecture briefly presented the circumstances of the massacre committed in the town of Dvor during the Croatian Army’s Operation Storm, which crushed the secessionist Serb Republic of Krajina. In the early afternoon of August 8, 1995, nine (possibly ten) mentally ill and handicapped people were executed in Dvor’s primary school, where they had found shelter. Twenty-five years after the massacre, the killers have still not been prosecuted and it is even unclear to which army they belonged. In the vicinity there were both Croatian and Serbian units, while the Bosnian Army was only a few kilometers away. In addition, the massacre happened in front of Danish UN soldiers, whose base was on the school’s playground a mere 20 meters away from the massacre.
|Mental Illness as a Cultural and Societal Phenomenon||Seminars and Colloquia||Anna KiedrzynekEric ReinhartLudger Hagedorn||
The collapse of communism in the CEE region 30 years ago was the start of a long-term process of sociopolitical change, in which a major transformation of the mental health system was expected. Unfortunately, this transformation is not yet complete. For example, in Poland people with severe mental illnesses and disabilities are treated in large psychiatric institutions and lack access to community-based care. The stigma around people with severe illnesses remains higher there than in Western European countries (according to The Lancet Psychiatry): they face exclusion on many levels and often remain marginalized. It is crucial that mental illnesses is seen, by both academic researchers and journalists, as not just a biological fact but also a societal and cultural phenomenon.
|Letters to Enver Hoxha||Seminars and Colloquia||Nikolai AntoniadisMiloš Vec||
From after World War II until his death in 1985, thousands of Albanians wrote letters to Enver Hoxha, a mixture of trivial everyday concerns and exceptional episodes that are tragic, heart-warming and absurd in equal measure. These letters were meticulously archived by the authorities, discussed and acted upon. Put in context, they reveal an abysmal world in which the Party was in control of all aspects of life – a national trauma that has not been addressed to this day.
|How to Be a Climate Change Journalist in Ukraine and Why Environmental Storytelling Can Help Spread Important Ideas||Seminars and Colloquia||Ludger HagedornMariana Verbovska||
Since Ukraine is an agrarian country, the importance of knowledge about climate change cannot be overestimated. In fact, today we already have regions where we harvest potatoes and corn twice a year, and regions where grapes and peaches ripen, which have not even been cultivated before. It is very important to talk not only about climate change as a global catastrophe, but also about the new challenges and opportunities that come with it.
|Becoming ....||Seminars and Colloquia||Ayşe ÇağlarLucy Ashton||
Embraced, helped, distrusted, rejected – the refugees of 2015/16 have endured a vicious cycle of popular opinion. In Austria, young Afghans often carry the worst reputation. Nearly five years on, many are still in the asylum process while claims from other nationalities have long since been finalised. Meanwhile, the rejection rate for Afghan claims has almost doubled and Austria has begun deportations to Kabul. In the midst of this prolonged uncertainty, asylum seekers are expected to intergrate from Day 1.