Features

Features offer in-depth accounts of issues related to the region without prior peer-review process.

LVIV. A CITY OF LIONS IN THE YEAR OF WAR

The journey to Ukraine is no longer measured in kilometers. After Ukraine closed its airspace, the trip demands new spontaneous, situational solutions to get there. Instead, travel can be measured by time — at least fifteen hours from Copenhagen to the western Ukrainian border, but it may be up to thirty hours or more. However, the most accurate measurement of the distance to Ukraine today is the level of closeness to all those people who are staying in Ukraine, in their own homes, and do not even think about surrender. From this point, Lviv is closer than ever.

By Svitlana Odynets June 20, 2023

Tsopi, Georgia Where Azerbaijanis and Armenians are living side-by-side

If we scratch the surface of this idyllic image of co-existence in the village of Tsopi, we may better understand what the limits are to the good relations among neighbors. This is especially interesting in light of the second Nagorno-Karabakh war, that broke out in 2020. In January 2022, the author stayed in Tsopi with an Armenian family to learn more about their life and the lives of the other villagers.

By Klaudia Kosicińska January 18, 2023

Safe guarding human rights during war

Civil society in Ukraine is, although under severe stress, very active and plays an important role in providing people with their basic needs and safeguarding their human rights. Civil society in Ukraine is still functioning even in a situation of full-scale invasion and warfare, with constant shelling and unpredictable attacks on infrastructure and Ukrainian civilians. How is this possible?

By Ninna Mörner January 18, 2023

Hopes and worries at the Russian-Finnish border

Statistics show that around 40 000 Russians escaped through Finland from the day that President Putin declared the mobilization and during the nine days that followed until the border closed. I am on my way to Karelia, a region along the southern part of the Finnish-Russian border where some of the most intense battles between two countries took place during the Second World War. As I write this October 2022, the atmosphere around the border is tense, the relations between the two countries are colder than in a long time, and people on either side of the border have difficulties even seeing each other. That, however, has not always been the case...

By Påhl Ruin January 18, 2023

Russian journalism in Exile A new chapter in Novaya Gazeta's life

The independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta is known for its critical and investigative coverage of Russian political and social affairs. Their former editor-in-chief, Dmitry Muratov, received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2021. Kirill Martynov is now editor-in-chief for Novaya Gazeta Europe, operating from Riga, Latvia. He is the newspaper’s former political editor, a political scientist, and a former associate professor at Moscow State University. In an open lecture at Södertörn University November 22, Kirill Martynov discussed Russian journalism in exile and the new chapter in Novaya Gazeta’s life.

By Ninna Mörner January 18, 2023

Freedom & Resistance 2021

There are several recent reports highlighting a worrying trend towards what one could call attacks on democratic values such as independent media and academic freedom.

By Ninna Mörner January 24, 2022

Biodiveristy Slovenia’s beekeepers lead the way

More beehives do not help the world’s wild bees — on the contrary, scientists warn of the competition that may arise. But agricultural landscapes with smaller farms and natural pastures are home to both wild pollinators and honeybees. Slovenia’s beekeepers have understood this — and now they want to show the way forward for the rest of the world.

By Elin Viksten January 23, 2022

Reforming Child Welfare in the Post-Soviet Space. Institutional Change in Russia

The deinstitutionalization as a policy shift introduced an entirely new principle of care in contemporary Russia. It brought the right to live in a family to the center of the care system, seeing residential, collective care as being harmful to children. The analysis shows that children left without family and placed in institutional care are mainly “social orphans”, meaning that their parents are alive but deprived of parental rights.

By Anna Tarasenko and Meri Kulmala October 25, 2021

60 years after the plane crash: A New reading of Dag Hammarskjöld’s diary Markings

From 1958, the lyric character of the diary entries becomes more intense. On the other hand they gain a further dimension of universality. They can be interpreted as saying that he would like the personal to remain even less known, and that the poeticizing is a means of concealment. Both may be equally true. If Markings were a fictional diary, one might say that the foreshadowing of death was a structural feature

By Birgit van der Leeden October 25, 2021

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.

By Kristy Beers Fägersten, Leena Romu, Anna Nordenstam and Margareta Wallin Wictorin October 25, 2021