contributors

Elena Marushiakova and Vesselin Popov

Elena Marushiakova is a holder of ERC Advanced Grant 2015, “Roma Civic Emancipation Between the Two World Wars”, and President of the Gypsy Lore Society. She is affiliated to the School of History at the University of  St. Andrews. She has published widely on Roma in Bulgaria, Balkans and Central and Eastern Europe.

Vesselin Popov works at the School of History at the University of St. Andrews. Conducts research in frames of ERC Advanced Grant 2015,  “Roma Civic Emancipation Between the Two World Wars”. Has published widely on Roma in Bulgaria, Balkans and Central and Eastern Europe.

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Articles by Elena Marushiakova and Vesselin Popov

  1. Aesthetics as Technique and Spatial Occupation in Hybrid Political Regimes

    The essay presents a new reflection on aesthetics within the wider understanding of the role of political rhythms in hybrid regimes. Aesthetics and politics “are not two permanent and separate realities about which it might be asked if they must be put in relation to one another”. On the contrary, the argument the author proposes in this essay presents an idea of how a political establishment disposes a new set of spatial practices through the field of aesthetics.

  2. Traumatic Contemporaneity Reflections on Piotr Piotrowski’s Critical Museography

    This essay analyses two texts by the Polish art historian Piotr Piotrowski (1952–2015) articulating theoretical stances towards art museography. Reflecting on how they deal with psychological as well as openly political issues, I interpret and assess their joint contribution to the broader interdisciplinary field of (critical) museography. The texts are “New Museums in New Europe” and “Making the National Museum Critical”. Together the texts developed Piotrowski’s concept of “the critical museum” as a way of dealing with the challenges of running an old national art museum based on masterpieces while also striving to engage with pressing contemporary issues. which is a prerequisite for critical intervention.

  3. Feminist Comic Art is spreading in the Baltic Sea Region

    Feminist comic art in Sweden, Finland, and the Baltic Sea region raises the question of whether it is possible to find a common denominator for feminist comic art. Are feminist comics connected by certain aesthetic qualities or themes? Is there a shared conception of feminism that is recognizable in the comics produced in the Baltic Sea region? The answer to both questions is ”no”. As much as there is an exchange of ideas and aesthetic influences between artists in different countries, there are local varieties specific to countries and individual artists. Furthermore, variations in contemporary conceptions of feminism seem to depend on varying historical conditions and experiences in the different countries.

  4. MEMORY BATTLEFIELD ON THE EAST FRONT: UKRAINE AND POLAND

    Discussions about the assessment of historic events have always had their place in the public discourse in democratic societies, whereas totalitarian regimes such as the Communist one preferred an official version of history that is not up for debate. This is why a conflict-prone memory boom in the CEE was to be expected after the fall of the Iron Curtain. The only recently intensified trend is to fight memory wars with the means of memory laws, i.e. by using laws prescribing and proscribing certain representations of historic events as a weapon to protect one’s national collective memory from divergent interpretation by others. Such approach to governing memory wars are detrimental to the neighborly relations, i.e. turning them into un-neighborly ones.

  5. Religion and Gender Politics in Lithuania The Catholic Church’s efforts to hinder the ratification of the Istanbul Convention

    This paper seeks to understand how the Catholic Church manages its involvement in gender politics in Lithuania and exerts power. Lithuania signed the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (the so-called Istanbul Convention) in 2013 but ratification efforts continue to date. The Convention has become a political “hot potato” and caused ideological confrontations. The Catholic Church is here a political actor, leveraging its influence across multiple levels and cycles of the political decision-making process. NGOs have initiated campaigns in attempt to counter the discourse of oppositional conservative and religious political actors.

  6. Wine in the Soviet food regime experiences from Armenia and Georgia

    Wine constitutes a corner-stone in the past and present of Armenian and Georgian societies. During the Soviet era, the production, distribution and consumtion of agro-food products, including wine, became elements in the geopolitical organization of food and agri-cultural relations of the USSR and of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance Reconstruction (after 1965). The Armenian wine industry was restructured and its main focus became the production of sherry, while the Georgian wine industry focused on wine production, most of which was exported to Russia. The wine sector became re-structured, vineyards were collectivized and their management was centralized and a far reaching division of labour was implemented at industry level. This article offers a glimpse of the economic history of wine in Armenia and Georgia between the 1920’s and 1991.

  7. “My goal is to break the narrative that Lithuania had nothing to do with the Holocaust”

    Silvia Kučėnaitė Foti it the author of the book The Nazi’s Granddaughter: How I discovered my Grandfather was a War Criminal. After going through major trauma when discovering her grandfather was not the war hero she heard about but a Nazi collaborator, she started to investigate her grandfather’s past. Considering Jewish sources along with the Lithuanian sources Foti questions the Lithuanian official narrative denying any involvement in the Holocaust.

  8. From brain drain to brain gain

    Eastern and Central Europe are seeing emigrants returning. The trend for more people to return to their home countries started as a trickle before Brexit and the pandemic — but has grown over the last couple of years. Over the last 30 years the opposite trend has been the rule: Lithuania and Latvia have lost close to 25% of their citizens since 1990; Bulgaria and Romania approximately 20%. In Poland, over two million people have left, primarily to the UK, Germany, France, and Ireland. Of course, over the years, some people have returned, although those leaving have always outnumbered those returning. Until now.

  9. United Russia’s Hollow Victory? Managing Outcomes and Retaining the Status Quo in the 2021 Duma Elections

    The 2021 Duma Elections have confirmed the Kremlin’s increased reliance on repression and manipulation to obtain the desired results. The 2021 elections show the top-down management of Russia’s electoral authoritarianism to be efficient. With electoral outcomes comprehensively managed, Russia’s political system has never before so closely resembled that of Belarus.

  10. Art, Gender and Protest

    The participants in the round-table included artists and researchers performing and/or studying art-activism in Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan. Some of the participants also position themselves as feminist activists. The participants were invited to reflect in advance on several questions that were aimed to create a common ground and inspiration for the participants.

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