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Stories and ideas

Education on prejudice today and during the interwar period

How far along have we really come in tackling discrimination and ‘othering’ since the interwar period?

June 30, 2021 - Sára Bagdi

Female drug addicts in Volhynia – vulnerable and exposed

In Volhynia, women experience more stigma regarding substance abuse than men.

June 24, 2021 - Iryna Musii

Odesa’s growing mismanagement

Odesa has faced many challenges in recent years. However, the ongoing pandemic and the reduction of land available for construction have brought the issue of ineffective management back. It is linked to the lack of an adequate response from the authorities as well as corruption.

On Saturday morning, several dozen people picketed the construction of an alleged yacht club and residential complex being built on the sea coast in Odesa. The protests were led by Vitaliy Ustimenko, an activist from Odesa who is the leader of a grassroots organisation called the AutoMaidan. “We will not allow dumb and insolent oxen capture the sea coast of Odesa,” Ustimenko said as he was speaking into a microphone.

June 23, 2021 - Maxym Przybyszewski

Streamlining soft power

Over the last five to seven years, there has been a growing understanding in the West that engagement in the post-Soviet area needs to be differentiated. As much as we need to keep communication channels open in order to prevent the emergence of new divisive blocs, we must not forget about our values and what stands behind them. Therein lies the potential to build, to improve and to unite. A positive agenda is all the more important given what the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed.

We will all remember 2020 as the year when the COVID-19 pandemic arrived. The rapid spread of the virus brought significant changes to our lives: closed borders, businesses closing and limited social interactions. More importantly, it forced us to rethink the present and the future – an exercise that is increasingly needed as the scale of challenges continues to overwhelm us. At the dawn of 2021, the world’s attention has been drawn to the first steps to sort things out – namely, the vaccination process.

June 23, 2021 - Miłosz Zieliński

Lennart Meri. Statesman and prophet

Estonia is today a secure and prosperous European country also thanks to the legacy of Lennart Meri who passed away 15 years ago. As president, Meri successfully punched above Estonia’s weight and put his beloved state on the fast track of reform after regaining independence. His testament is being fulfilled today as his country is a successful member of NATO, the EU and the United Nations.

This year marks the 15th anniversary of Lennart Meri’s death, the first President of the again independent Estonia – a great statesman, visionary and patriot, who successfully led Estonia through the first decade of regained independence at the end of the 20th century. To this day he is remembered as a leading European politician who contributed not only to the independence and territorial sovereignty of Estonia, but also to the security of the other countries of Central and Eastern Europe, including Poland. According to a 2018 survey, Meri was listed as “best-loved Head of State” by almost two-thirds of Estonians among all demographic groups.

June 23, 2021 - Grzegorz Kozłowski

The mutilated world

In Paris Adam Zagajewski, one of Poland’s most distinguished contemporary poets, penned many of his most important works, including the poem To go to Lvov. This poem is often regarded as his most distinguished piece of work – a story of death and destruction, but also about life.

On September 11th 2001, the day of the terrorist attack on the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon building in Washington, DC, the editors of the New Yorker gathered in the evening to decide how their magazine should ade-quately react to the tragic events of that day. The editor-in-chief, David Remnick, suggested the best way to commemorate the victims in the next issue – the now famous for its pitch black cover – would be through the publication of a poem. He was convinced that only poet-ry had the power of expression in the aftermath of such a tragedy. The editors thus started their search for the right poem to express the gravity and sorrow of the event, and at first they could not find anything that was adequate.

June 23, 2021 - Jacek Hajduk

How Ukrainian female drug users are fighting against stigma and abuse

The coronavirus pandemic has complicated the lives not only of large communities, but also of those who are mostly ignored. This is particularly true in the case of female drug addicts. Violence against this group, as well as various new problems regarding access to medicine, have only increased in recent times. Despite this, it is clear that the usual problems of stigmatisation, discrimination and rights violations have not disappeared in Ukraine.

June 22, 2021 - Vladyslav Kudryk

Make yourself at home

The German city of Görlitz on the border with Poland is learning the challenges of integrating migrant communities. Thanks to the help of local activists, a lot of progress has been achieved in the last several years. Yet, the effects of the pandemic and rising social tensions has threatened to undo some of the important achievements.

June 22, 2021 - Joanna Urbańska

Billboards, bureaucracy, Budapest. Foreign students in the Hungarian capital

Prejudice against foreigners runs deep in Hungarian society and this will require complex, large scale changes in order to solve. This includes bureaucratic reform, civil campaigns and better language and cultural education.

June 22, 2021 - Márton Munding

Job market for people with disabilities in Poland

Statistics clearly show that unemployment among people with disabilities in Poland is decreasing. Behind these figures, however, there are many stories of individuals who believe that a growth in employment does not necessarily go hand in hand with creating an open atmosphere in companies. Is the Polish labour market friendly to people with disabilities?

June 22, 2021 - Katarzyna Rodacka

The care crisis

An interview with Kinga Milánkovics, the co-founder of the Hekate Conscious Ageing Foundation. Interviewer: Maja Móczár

June 22, 2021 - Kinga Milánkovics Maja Móczár

A Polish story from Bosnia and Herzegovina

The Polish minority in Bosnia and Herzegovina has mostly assimilated over the years. It is during the holidays of Christmas and Easter that the traditions and customs of their ancestors are revived.

June 16, 2021 - Nataša Lazukić

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