Viva Belarus!

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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!

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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”.

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Journey Through a Counterculture

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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.

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Sunset, Sunrise: Threnody for Child Victims of State Violence

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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.

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Bosnian Basics

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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.

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Berkin Elvan lebt

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Von Antidote’s Laurent Moeri

Die Sonne steht tief und senkt sich langsam dem Horizont entgegen, um in Kürze hinter dem Meer zu verschwinden. Die kargen Berge verfärben sich durch das verebbende Licht in einem fortwährend dunkler und tiefer werdendem Blauton. Ein verliebtes Paar sitzt mit Sand in den Haaren in der Bucht und blickt in die rotgoldene, sich senkende Kugel. Die letzten Fischerkutter kehren in den kleinen Hafen ein. Einer entladet bereits seine Beute, schlitzt sitzend die Fische auf und wirft Unpassendes ins Wasser. Kreischende Möven kreisen über ihn, kämpfen um die Innereien.Continue Reading

1989: Not the ‘End of History’ in Venezuela Either

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

On 8 March 2014,  Chuck Mertz of This is Hell! Radio (Chicago) talked to educator and author George Ciccariello-Maher about the current dynamics in Venezuela. 

Protest movements and struggles waged by dissidents against state prerogatives, wherever they happen, are always more complex than we are typically given to understand.  But the ongoing cases of Ukraine and Venezuela seem to have reached, for a great many, new heights of incomprehensibility.  Roles appear to be reversed, with reactionary forces engaging in tactics we are used to associating with revolutionary movements.  Questions of legitimacy, authority, democracy, and violence nag at all participants.  The temptation is strong to zoom out, chalk everything up to global realpolitik, and simply declare everyone a bastard. Continue Reading