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Category: Books and Reviews

Whose hostages?

A review of Hostages. A film written and directed by Rezo Gigineishvili, Georgian-Russian-Polish co-production, 2017.

October 4, 2017 - Yulia Oreshina

When hard words break democracy’s bones

A review of How Propaganda Works . By: Jason Stanley, Princeton University Press: Princeton, New Jersey, USA, 2015.

October 4, 2017 - Matteusz Mazzini

The neoliberal world was made for autocrats

A review of Dictators without Borders: Power and money in Central Asia. By: Alexander Cooley and John Heathershaw. Published by: Yale University Press, New Haven, USA, 2017.

October 4, 2017 - Millie Radović

In Russia’s near abroad, storylines matter

A review of Near Abroad: Putin, the West, and the Contest Over Ukraine and the Caucasus. By: Gerard Toal. Publisher: Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2017.

October 4, 2017 - Joseph Larsen

Feeling history, 70 years on

A review of Kriegsgedenken als Event. Der 9. Mai 2015 im postsozialistischen Europa (War memory as an event. May 9th 2015 in post-socialist Europe). Edited by: Mischa Gabowitsch, Cordula Gdaniec, and Ekaterina Makhotina. Publisher: Ferdinand Schöningh, Paderborn, Germany, 2017.

October 4, 2017 - Paul Toetzke

Slavic geopolitics

A review of Słowiańska geopolityka. Twórcy rosyjskiej, ukraińskiej i czechosłowackiej geopolityki oraz ich koncepcje ideologiczno-terytorialne (Slavic geopolitics. Shapers of Russian, Ukrainian and Czechoslovak geopolitics and their ideological-territorial conceptions). By: Piotr Eberhardt. Publisher: ARCANA, Kraków, 2017.

October 4, 2017 - Marek Wojnar

Breaking the comfortable silence on the Holocaust

A book review of Mūsiškiai (Ours). By: Rūta Vanagaitė. Publisher: Alma littera, Vilnius, 2016.

What makes Rūta Vanagaitė’s Ours (Mūsiškiai) very different from all other Lithuanian books on the Holocaust is that it was from the start written as a bestseller. Written by an experienced public relations professional as an appeal to the Lithuanian public, the book raises the painful issue of historical responsibility. The author does not refrain from giving a personal twist to the story (it would be impossible otherwise, as the Holocaust is an issue of individual position and individual responsibility). The author is piercingly direct and uses black comedy. She approaches the topic with composure and a sense of supremacy. These two features may irritate the reader. However, she is entitled to it as she aims to confront the reader, which she so eloquently achieves.

October 3, 2017 - Linas Vildžiūnas

The monumental significance of heritage

The 20th century was an era of wars, nation-building and monuments. If there is anyone who connects all these elements then you can point one name without a second thought – Ivan Meštrović. The Croatian master of sculpting, patriot and visionary. He contributed to popularisation of Croatia and all region, and Central and Eastern Europeans remember him as part of their heritage. From June 25th to November 5th 2017, the International Cultural Centre in Kraków hosts an exibition titled “Adriatic Epopee” devoted to the artist.

August 31, 2017 - Agnieszka Pikulicka-Wilczewska

Where the heart of Central Europe beats

There is no multi-culti here, people are Catholic, conservative, vote for right wing parties, just like in Podhale” – explains one of the protagonists of Ludwika Włodek’s book Four Flags, One Address. But Spiš – or Spisz, depending on whom one asks – a tiny historical region in the Carpathian Mountains, located on the territory of Poland and Slovakia, has been home to more ethnicities than just the two main national groups. So is there really no multi-culti?

August 24, 2017 - Agnieszka Pikulicka-Wilczewska

Showing the Holocaust through women’s eyes

“Mother?! What does it mean? Who is this creature called mother, who with great pleasure suffers and gives birth to a new life…”. These are the words from the diary of Rywka Lipszyc – one of the most mysterious heroines of the Holocaust. Her story is the subject of an exhibit of the Galicia Jewish Museum in Kraków, Poland which is held from 28th June 2017 to 31st March 2018.

July 21, 2017 - Monika Szafrańska

A Ukrainian miracle

A review of Гніздо горлиці (The Nest of the Turtledove). A film directed by Taras Tkachenko, Ukraine, 2016.

“Welcome to Ukraine,” says a border guard with a smile on his face and a bribe in his hand. This is one of the introductory scenes of the film The Nest of the Turtledove. The main character, Daryna, is returning home, pregnant, after working for two years in Italy. She leaves behind tireless work and a relationship with her boss and his constantly unsatisfied mother. At home she is greeted by a parade of empty vodka bottles, an inconsiderate husband and a reckless teenage daughter. Directed by Taras Tkachenko, the film was released in November 2016 in Ukraine and was awarded as the best Ukrainian film at the Odesa Film Festival, already the summer before its premiere.

May 5, 2017 - Olena Pavlova

A film which divides Poles and Ukrainians

This piece originally appeared in Issue 1/2017 of New Eastern Europe. Subscribe now.

January 23, 2017 - Kaja Puto

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