Essays

Essays are selected scholarly articles published without prior peer-review process.

Belarus’ relations with Ukraine and the 2022 Russian invasion Historical ties, society, and realpolitik

Before the war, Ukraine was the main trade partner of Belarus, after Russia. Imports of Belarusian goods to Ukraine in 2021 are estimated at 5.4 billion US dollars. Therefore, Belarus has a great economic interest in stopping the war.

Essay by Andrej Kotljarchuk and Nikolay Zakharov June 22, 2022

War and the academic community in Russia

The outbreak of the war on February 24, 2022, was a real shock for the Russian science and higher education, and completely turned the situation upside down, even in comparison with the negative trends of the previous years.

Essay by Dmitry V. Dubrovskiy June 22, 2022

Mariupol. A city that is no more

A military endgame is taking place in Mariupol that could be an omen for Europe’s future to come.

Essay by Karl Schlögel June 22, 2022

Special section: New Age and alternative beliefs in socialist Eastern Europe Introduction. New Age spiritualities of (post-) socialism

Baltic Worlds has in this special section “New Age and alternative beliefs in socialist Eastern Europe” invited scholars from different disciplines to address topics relating to the diversity of new religious beliefs in Eastern Europe during the socialist era and beyond. The authors, five scholars studying the multiple expressions of New Age spirituality on their own material, propose to view New Age from various angles.

Essay by Anna Tessmann January 24, 2022

The Holocaust, post-colonial studies, and German politics of memory Historians in a new dispute

Ashort article by the Australian historian Dirk Moses published on May 23, 2021, in the Swiss journal Geschichte der Gegenwart has sparked a heated debate among German intellectuals and historians on the singularity of the Holocaust. The debate partly presents itself as an updated version of the German historians’ debate (Historikerstreit) from the late 1980s.

Essay by Ann-Judith Rabenschlag January 24, 2022

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.

Essay by Tihomir Topuzovski October 25, 2021

Faces of Russia’s empire. The Bergholtz collection of ethnographic images from the early 18th century

The Division of Prints and Drawings of the Swedish National Museum contains a collection with just over 200 hand painted images of the peoples of the Russian Empire which, up to the present time, has been largely unknown to scholars. The images, dating from the first half of the 18th century, are associated with the name of Friedrich Wilhelm Bergholtz (1699–1772) a courtier and collector who served as a tutor to the Grand Duke Petr Fedorovich (the future Peter III). In this article, the authors describe the contents of the collection, consider its' possible origin, and assess its significance, particularly with regard to its depictions of Siberian peoples and Ukrainians.

Essay by Edward Kasinec and Nathaniel Knight April 22, 2021

Heritage, Democracy, Ambiguity Swedish heritage and the politics of identity

This essay examines Swedish heritage politics from the 1920s up to the present by studying official inquiries during this period. Through a critical, historical and empirical discussion, it reveals how the meaning of the word kulturarv (heritage) has been adjusted to correspond to wider changes in Swedish politics. It shows how a relatively neutral understanding of the word kulturarv has been turned into an ambiguity. In this essay I suggest from the material at hand that this trajectory of change results from the development of global capitalism, which turned identity into a commodity. This essay concludes that in a post-heritage future we therefore need a new understanding of identity, an open identity, and that we need to take existential responsibility for our lives.

Essay by Johan Hegardt April 21, 2021

The end of “East Central Europe” and the return of “Europe in-between”

Political and scholarly debates on European (meso-)regions have returned time and again over the past 100 years. The conceptualizations of Central and Eastern Europe plays a major role in the debates, which affects the Baltic Sea region and Northern Europe as well. These issues have already been addressed many times, but recently, a new development deserves our attention: the launch of the “Three Seas Initiative” in the summer of 2015 by the presidents of Poland and Croatia, comprising 12 EU member states between the Baltic, Adriatic and Black Seas.

Essay by Jörg Hackmann April 21, 2021

Visual representation of the Holodomor From commemoration practices to contemporary art

When we were beginning to think about what we as artists and also the third generation of survivors can tell about the Holodomor we fully realized that visual representation of mass starvation in the arts is not easy. Depiction of violent events and historical traumas is already hard enough because it demands from the artist not only talent but also a deep understanding of historical context and an ethical approach to the sensitive topic. Famine is an invisible enemy. How to show the total lack of something? How to visualize very slow death, extended in time?

Essay by Lia Dostlieva and Andrii Dostliev February 12, 2021