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Tag: Moldova

Remembering Mark Verlan. The artist who bridged poetry and apocalyptic jest

The style of the late Moldovan artist Mark Verlan is not easy to classify. According to his nephew, the artist created a style that cannot be found in any other movement. He coined the term “ultra-stiobanism” to describe his uncle’s artistic approach.

Talk to anyone who met Mark Verlan and they will have a story to tell. Like that time when the famous Swiss curator, Harald Szeemann, travelled to Chișinău just to meet him and offer him the opportunity to exhibit his work in BLUT & HONIG (Blood and Honey), a retrospective hosted by the Vienna Essl Collection. During the time that Szeemann spent in Chișinău, Verlan was nowhere to be found, but 25 of his paintings (more than any artist’s present at the exhibition) made it to the retrospective. His friend and fellow artist Pavel Brăila recalls that, at the same exhibition, someone asked Verlan why he did not speak English and the artist sarcastically replied: “It was already difficult for me to learn Russian.”

April 11, 2021 - Giovanna Di Mauro

Crisis spiral in Georgia and Moldova – commonalty, distinctions and ways out

The political crises in Georgia and Moldova can only be resolved through national dialogue. The West could help by at least remaining consistent in its messages to both partners.

March 8, 2021 - Denis Cenusa

Integrity and identity – the dilemmas of Maia Sandu

The Moldovan president is facing increasing pressure as the country’s complex identity politics catches up with the narrative she built during the election campaign.

February 9, 2021 - Piotr Oleksy

2020’s electoral lessons: Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine

Recent elections in Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine have proven that positive democratic changes are difficult to achieve but are still very possible. Even though oligarchs retain much of their power, political newcomers, civil society and the diaspora are turning into key players shaking up the status quo.

The political transformations that occurred in Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine in the second half of 2020 will have long-lasting consequences on the democratic development of these critical countries in the region. Each of them has made qualitative steps forward, leaving behind more oligarchic-centric rules of the game.

February 3, 2021 - Denis Cenusa

Moldova is entering a period of protest in the midst of a pandemic

On December 6th many citizens in Moldova attended protests in order to show their support for President-elect Maia Sandu. This was in response to a new and unofficial coalition in parliament that is now attempting to restrict the new president’s powers and push through a series of controversial laws.

December 9, 2020 - Alexandru Demianenco

Challenging the status quo in Moldova. What now after Maia Sandu’s victory?

The future of Moldovan politics will depend on Maia Sandu's ability to consolidate forces in the parliament. Changes in the standings of certain oligarchs is also bound to have an impact.

December 1, 2020 - Oktawian Milewski

Moldovans elected an anti-corruption president, avoiding a “colour revolution”

Former prime minister Maia Sandu was victorious in her bid for the Moldovan presidency on November 15th. Popular in the West, she will need more allies at home in order to act on her anti-corruption program.

November 18, 2020 - Denis Cenusa

Moldova’s oligarch mayors go global

The experience of Moldova reveals that in Central and Eastern Europe’s highly politicised and oligarchised environment, city diplomacy can be an easy tool for wealthy politicians suspected of corruption to gain more popularity and shield themselves from the judicial system. Ilan Șor and Renato Usatîi have been particularly adept in this realm.

Orhei, a medium-sized city about an hour north of Chișinău, is an unlikely rival to Monaco. Yet mayor Ilan Șor – one of the country’s oligarchs – promised in 2018 that Orhei’s residents would “live as they do” in the European principality. Farther north, in Bălți, mayor Renato Usatîi – yet another oligarch – claimed to have started a revolution in the city’s contacts with the world.

November 16, 2020 - Cristian Cantir

Moldova heads to an electoral run-off as “apocalyptic” discourse gains ground

The challenger Maia Sandu and the incumbent Igor Dodon will go head-to-head in a second round of the Moldovan presidential election on November 15th.

November 4, 2020 - Denis Cenusa

Even before the pandemic, we have been living in isolation

The coronavirus pandemic has had a significant impact on both Moldova and the breakaway region of Transdniestria. Moldova remains on the so-called “red list” of countries due to its high number of COVID-19 cases. Transdniestrians, meanwhile, face even more severe restrictions. Since March 16th a state of emergency was declared in the para-state and its borders with Ukraine and Moldova have been closed.

COVID-19 harshly hit the population on the banks of the Dniester River – those from Moldova, on the right bank, and those from the breakaway region of Transdniestria, on the left bank. While the people of Transdniestria have been living in a symbolic isolation for the past number of decades, the measures imposed by the de-facto authorities there during the outbreak made the region even more isolated. However this has not stopped the people of the region from exploring alternative ways of connecting with the outside world and with each other.

September 7, 2020 - Marina Shupac

In Church we trust. The case of the Moldovan Orthodox Church

The relationship between religion and society differs in most post-Soviet states. While the Orthodox Church in Moldova clearly enjoys widespread popularity in the country, it has chosen to focus on promoting a “traditional agenda”, often associated with discrimination towards women and minorities.

The Ukrainian Church’s official independence last year raised issues regarding how religion impacts geopolitics in post-Soviet countries. Despite this, the country’s former president, Petro Poroshenko, was neither the first nor the last political leader to use religious sentiments as part of an electoral campaign. The current Moldovan President, Igor Dodon, did so during the country’s previous elections. While there are numerous studies analysing the role of the church in politics and social movements, this discussion investigates the church’s role regarding conflict mitigation or instigation. By examining situations prone to conflict, we can try to determine whether the Orthodox Church in Moldova (OCM) serves the purpose of uniting the people or fostering polarisation. Such an issue remain of great importance for a country where more than 90 per cent of the population declare themselves Orthodox.

September 7, 2020 - Anastasia Pociumban

A reality check for Moldova-EU relations

In understanding the impact of the Eastern Partnership in Moldova, it is worth examining what it has failed to deliver for the Moldovan state and society. In this regard, it is a cliché that the strategy “started as a transformative mechanism and ended as a stabilisation and differentiation package of norms and measures”. Moldova has not become more stable or predictable, more prosperous or functional – and definitely not a place where the majority of its citizens would prefer to get old.

By mid-2020, and one year after the fortuitous change of political power in Chișinău (after the politician/oligarch Vladimir Plahotniuc fled the country in June 2019), the state of Moldovan-EU relations has continued to be plagued by the same structural institutional pathologies for at least the previous three to four years: systemic corruption, state capture, shady transactions, divisive political identity, beleaguered institutions, legal nihilism, endemic poverty, and the list goes on.

September 4, 2020 - Oktawian Milewski

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