Features

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

Tbilisi destroys its past. The Old Town is transformed

A growing number of architects, artists and academics have been protesting against the rapid transformation of the Old Town in Tbilisi, claiming that World Heritage is demolished. But there is a dilemma: many of the Old Town inhabitants welcome the changes.

By Sara Bergfors January 24, 2014

Children left behind A growing problem in EU

Many who migrate are forced to leave their children in their home country. Children being left behind in this way has become a problem in the EU, as Påhl Ruin relates in a report from Lithuania. The children don’t thrive, and there is a risk that they will become social outsiders.

By Påhl Ruin January 22, 2014

The geoaesthetics of (east) european tristesse. Ulrich Seidl’s Import/Export

Literary scholar David Williams analyzes Ulrich Seidl’s film Import/Export and criticizes Seidl for using and humiliating amateur actors with the aim of telling a story that ultimately only underscores a stereotypical image of the East: as precisely an object of pleasure for the West.

By David Williams January 21, 2014

Design institute VNIITE closes its doors

VNIITE, once the world’s largest institute of design research, ceased to exist on June 14, 2013. It was once conceived as a marriage of engineering and aesthetics. Intellectual abilities and sensitivity were to be respected rather than viewed as problems.

By Margareta Tillberg November 12, 2013

the wreck of the Mars (1564) Maritime archaeological investigations of a sunken battlefield

After many years of searching, divers from Ocean Discovery in Västervik found the wreck of Erik XIV’s legendary flagship Mars, in 2011. In 2013 archeologists joined together to reconstruct a cross-section of the battle space. To this end, a selection of ship timbers were salvaged for detailed documentation on the surface.

By Johan Rönnby November 7, 2013

Wastewater treatment plant in St. Petersburg: Progress, but not enough

A new treatment plant in St. Petersburg could eventually be built, despite initial resistance. It is the outcome of a successful joint project, funded by the Nordic Council and the EU. St. Petersburg's water consumption has also decreased significantly. A challenge remains for St. Petersburg; getting neighboring cities to clean their drains. Not many mil away waste flows directly into the Baltic Sea.

By Ann-Louise Martin November 7, 2013

Criminal corrections in the Baltic countries: The Soviet legacy persists

The Baltic countries have a larger percentage of people in prison than any other EU member state. The reason? A persistent Soviet legacy that decress criminals should be locked up.

By Påhl Ruin October 29, 2013

Corporate Raiding in Post-Soviet Russia

Hostile takeovers and company captures have been an everyday reality in the post-Soviet Russian economy. A new research agenda is needed to understand whether private property is worth anything in contemporary Russia.

By Ilja Viktorov October 29, 2013

velimir khlebnikov and the volga famine

"Hunger" shows us Khlebnikov at his most compassionate; it may well be the only adequate literary response to the Volga famine of 1921.

By Robert Chandler May 17, 2013

Exhibition in Moscow Soviet Design 1950–1980

Soviet Design 1950–1980 was shown for two busy winter months and enjoyed great public success. Even if Soviet design was often — but far from always — based on originals borrowed from the West, the individual objects exude a personal charm, variation, and quirkiness that makes them well worth preserving, exhibiting, and discussing.

By Margareta Tillberg May 13, 2013