What if the buildings of Belgrade could talk? They would for sure tell us stories of Serbia’s unpredictable and troubled transition to democracy. Let’s listen to one building in Belgrade that is aptly described as “void” and what it tells us about the spring of 1999, when Belgrade was bombed.
It was one of the biggest pandemics of all time. It is said to have killed millions by spreading on all inhabited continents within just one year – the Spanish flu caused fear and despair all over the world. But how is it perceived today, 100 years after the big catastrophe? And why is it called ,Spanish’? To find answers, our author Phillip spoke with three young Spanish students, Isabel, Elena and Yolanda, about the pandemic, its name and today’s memorial.
Mafia has always been a strong presence in the Italian country. Some Italians, instead of accepting the situation, raised their head and proved that Mafia can be defeated with a constant fight for legality. Among them were the two magistrates Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino, murdered by the organised criminality 25 years ago. Viola Berti, a young Italian, describes the importance of the Anniversary and the two men’s legacy for her and in contemporary Italy. As a young Italian citizen, I often hear my country addressed abroad as the homeland of Mafia, criminality and corruption. The last out of several times was around a month ago. Some American friends I met during my vacation in England told me that the Italians invented the organised criminality and exported it around the world. Th...[Read More]
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the beginning of the Bosnian war. In April 1992, after the Bosnian parliament declared independence from what remained of former Yugoslavia, Serb forces began to siege the city of Sarajevo. The war soon spread across the country and lasted over three-and-a-half years and claimed more than 100 000 victims. We asked people from Bosnia and Serbia to share their memories about the beginning of the war.
The collapse of the Soviet Union and the fall of the Iron Curtain not only had immense political implications for Europe, but for many also on a personal level. For Eleonore Dupuis it meant to eventually get the chance to search for her father, a former Soviet soldier in occupied Austria.
25 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Anna from Moscow finds herself caught in the middle of a heated debate in her family: the life during the Soviet Union – lack of personal freedom or a system of security and solidarity? Why is it perceived so differently? And what can her generation learn from the past?
“Who, except ecologists, even still talks about it?” is a valid question Elena exposes in her article and sheds a light on the variety of perspectives and attitudes people in Belarus nowadays have towards the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant accident. The spectrum of attitudes extends itself from experiencing the accident’s aftermath and being afraid to shake people’s hands up to today’s indifference towards the accident – and where do you find yourself?
From keeping the tragedy a secret in the USSR to commemorating and revealing secret information about the exposure in independent Ukraine – this is how the discussion about Chernobyl shifted throughout the years.
Vsevolod Bohdanovycj Smerechynskyi was one of the 830 000 liquidators who were ordered to clean up the contaminated areas after the accident at Chernobyl nuclear power plant in 1986. According to the Chernobyl Foundation, one out of five of the liquidators had died by 2005, most of them in their 30s and 40s. Smerechynskyi survived, but his believe in the system he was serving as a specialist died. And, like the majority of the survivors, he lost his youth and his health in the catastrophe.
Three decades after the nuclear desaster in Chernobyl, the accident at the nuclear power plant is not just a mere historical fact, instead its radioactive residues still affect people in Belarus and Ukraine today. Still, Chernobyl should not be just a mention in historical books. Instead it should serve as an important lesson on how not to handle a nuclear catastrophe, on failed communication, and severe lack of reponsibilty from the officials. The handling of the accident in the poweplant in Fukushima in 2011 has proven, that we still have a long way of learning ahead of us. Thus, equally as it is part of European history, Chernobyl is a matter of today and the future. If it happend today – this is how we imagine a Chernobyl Twitter-feed to look like.
Haris, an Austrian with Bosnian family-roots, shares his view on why remembering the past mistakes is crucial for ensuring a better future. However, observant the current conflicts and humanitarian crises and in spite of the grave war atrocities, humankind clearly still hasn’t learned its lesson.
How does Serbia reflect on Srebrenica and its commemoration? What is the public attitude and how are the leading politicians using Srebrenica in their political calculations nowadays? After 20 years of no clear act of reconciliation it is though clear that Serbian as well as Bosnian political leaders need to reconsider their positions, attitudes and approaches.