Bosnia: Protests Continue Despite Contradictions

AntiNote: This article first appeared in German on the website of the Antikapitalistische Linke, a constellation of currents within the far-left German political party DIE LINKE which explicitly includes unaffiliated activists and agitators and views itself as a bridge between DIE LINKE and non-partisan anti-capitalist movements within Germany and elsewhere.

A pair of AKL activists recently visited Tuzla and spoke with people involved in the citizens’ assemblies and protests there which generated a good deal of excitement in Left circles in Europe in February and March of this year…but which regrettably seem to have fallen off the radar screen in recent weeks.

As we have seen a number of commentators, even on the Left, reading the movement in Bosnia its last rites and/or pointing out all the places where it “went wrong,” we at the Antidote Writers Collective wish to insist, along with our friends of the AKL, that there is still fog on the mirror. As long as the struggle continues, the struggle continues. The activists in Tuzla are still speaking; is it not the height of rudeness to turn away?

A dispatch from Tuzla by Inge Höger and Carsten Albrecht

Continue Reading

Squatting for Reform?

1

AntiNote: The following is an extended excerpt of the Ex-Worker Podcast’s own transcript of their fourteenth episode, entitled “Squat the World!” That episode includes good discussions on the topic of squatting as well as interviews with squatters; the segment we are sharing here is their review of Hannah Dobbz’s book Nine Tenths of the Law.

Longtime followers of Antidote may recall that we posted a review of the same book some months ago. Ed Sutton’s take on it was characteristically chatty and gushing—and the Ex-Worker’s review also begins with high praise. But the two reviews’ paths diverge when it comes to Dobbz’s conclusions and her prescriptions for any housing justice movement centered on property resistance. Ed is a fan. Ex-Worker is not.

Continue Reading

Viva Belarus!

4

Viva Belarus! (2012, 110 min, english subtitles) by Krzysztof Lukaszewicz

AntiNote: Link to the full movie with English subtitles at the bottom of the page, as well as an interview with Franak Viacorka, on whose experience the film is inspired and loosely based!

viva_belarus_still_01

This movie is the first independent film about present-day Belarus, an obscure and often misunderstood country in the middle of Europe. Belarus has been ruled for twenty years by “the last dictator of Europe”, Alexander Lukashenko, who has driven his country into isolation and decay. However, a vibrant artistic and cultural life finds its way past censorship, totalitarian control and general apathy to produce little gems like “Viva Belarus”.

Continue Reading

Journey Through a Counterculture

2

AntiNote: The following is an extended excerpt of a radio interview, edited for readability.

On 12 April 2014, Chuck Mertz of This is Hell! Radio (Chicago) talked to activist, educator and author Paul Buhle about bohemians.

Perhaps mainstream discourse has already wrung every last drop of usefulness from the topic of “bohemians” (or “hipsters,” or whatever term we’re using for this amorphous subgroup of people)—it has become as much of a cliché as “fratboys” when trying to shoehorn people into categories. But sometimes much more vital questions are embedded in these discussions, like those of gentrification, right to the city, the aristocratization of creativity, and the convergence of art and radical activism.

We find Buhle’s perspectives on some of these questions to be of particular interest because in some cases they contradict our own current understanding—and are based in large-scale historical thinking that demands to be taken seriously.

Continue Reading

Sunset, Sunrise: Threnody for Child Victims of State Violence

1

By Antidote’s Laurent Moeri

The sun rides low on the horizon, soon to disappear behind the sea. In the ebbing light, scrabbly mountains discolor slowly in deepening shades of blue. A couple is sitting in a secluded cove, sand in their hair, gazing at the reddish-gold sinking orb. A few last fishing boats are returning to the small harbor. A fisherman begins to unload his catch; sitting, he slices open each fish and throws the offal in the water. Shrieking gulls arc above him, fighting over the glistening scraps.

Continue Reading

Bosnian Basics

1

Transcribed from This is Hell! Radio’s 22 March 2014 episode and printed with permission. Listen to the full interview here.

“It’s misleading for the international community to say the citizens of Bosnia need to take ownership of their own issues, but then when they take that phrase literally, say, ‘oh, that’s not what we had in mind.’”

Chuck Mertz: We are speaking with Edin Hajdarpašić. He teaches history at Loyola University in Chicago; he is the author of the forthcoming book entitled Whose is Bosnia? Political Imagination and Nation Formation in the Modern Balkans, and wrote an Al Jazeera article recently on what’s going on in Bosnia right now.

Continue Reading