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Both Sides Now

John Feffer | Posted 10.09.2013 | Arts
John Feffer

Most people of a certain age in East-Central Europe have seen both sides of the major split of the 20th century. They grew up under Communism, and then after a certain point they suddenly were living under capitalism.

Bulgarian Parliament Siege Ends

AP | VESELIN TOSHKOV | Posted 07.24.2013 | World

SOFIA, Bulgaria -- Bulgarian police on Wednesday broke up a blockade of Parliament and escorted out more than 100 lawmakers and ministers who had been...

Plovdiv, Bulgaria: Europe's Oldest Inhabited City

Jennifer Walker | Posted 09.12.2013 | Travel
Jennifer Walker

As the bus drove through Plovdiv's suburbs, after a two-hour journey from the capital Sofia, I felt like I was visiting an old friend. Plovdiv is one of the World's most ancient cities and Europe's oldest inhabited city -- even beating Athens.

State v. Market in Bulgaria

John Feffer | Posted 08.21.2013 | World
John Feffer

The last century has witnessed an enormous tug-of-war between the state and the market. One hundred years ago, coming out of World War I, three succes...

Roma Politics

John Feffer | Posted 08.13.2013 | World
John Feffer

A key question facing Roma politicians is whether to run as candidates with the major political parties or to push forward with a Roma-identified initiative.

The Ghettos of Eastern Europe

John Feffer | Posted 08.06.2013 | World
John Feffer

The experience of today's ghettos has many echoes with the past. Consider for example the Stolipinovo neighborhood in Plovdiv, Bulgaria's second largest city.

Playing Catch Up in Eastern Europe

John Feffer | Posted 08.05.2013 | World
John Feffer

We talked about the growing divide between the Balkans and the rest of Europe, the expectations that EU accession have produced, and what it means that Bulgarians like Turkish soap operas so much.

Curating the Curators

John Feffer | Posted 08.03.2013 | Arts
John Feffer

There is an art to curation. Curators must not only choose the works for an exhibition, which involves making aesthetic judgments about "good" and "bad" as well as what fits together according to the exhibition's theme

The Politics of Memory

John Feffer | Posted 07.22.2013 | World
John Feffer

There are plenty of people in East-Central Europe who would prefer the idealized American or the West European approach to the history of the last 100 years. They'd like to face forward and move on.

Voice to the Voiceless

John Feffer | Posted 07.20.2013 | World
John Feffer

The media in East-Central Europe used to be idea-centric. The unofficial samizdat publications focused on the cruelties and inanities of the regimes, unearthed nearly forgotten history, and often featured philosophic meditations on politics and morality.

Representing the Movement

John Feffer | Posted 07.16.2013 | World
John Feffer

The MRF has been criticized for its hierarchical structure. But the party has also been extraordinarily successful in raising the profile of ethnic Turks in Bulgaria.

Challenging the Movement

John Feffer | Posted 07.08.2013 | World
John Feffer

Much of Bulgaria's Ottoman heritage is hidden away, sometimes in plain sight.

Inside the Movement

John Feffer | Posted 06.25.2013 | World
John Feffer

How did a Bulgarian parliamentarian who didn't speak English and who worked on the issue of ethnic Turks end up in Kentucky? You'll just have to read further.

Can Technology Bring Authenticity to Learning?

Harbrinder Kang | Posted 06.22.2013 | Impact
Harbrinder Kang

While at Skoll, I participated in a session that brought both of these elements -- people and technology -- together and underscored the potential we have to make a bigger and more meaningful impact when they are combined.

The Ideas Factory

John Feffer | Posted 06.22.2013 | World
John Feffer

The Ideas Factory has been instrumental in the revival of environmental activism in Bulgaria. It has integrated the arts into social movements, and it has worked hard to link up activists in Bulgaria with activists elsewhere in Europe and around the world.

Modern Slavery Alive And Well In Germany

Der Spiegel | Matthias Bartsch and Özlem Gezer | Posted 04.18.2013 | World

Injured on the job, a Bulgarian migrant worker desperately needs surgery, but his official status as an independent contractor has allowed the compani...

Losing My Illusions

John Feffer | Posted 06.15.2013 | World
John Feffer

Anyone engaged in social change has grappled with the essential question. Should I work within the system or outside the system? In the United States, the question is often expressed geographically: to operate "inside the Beltway" or "outside the Beltway."

Bulgarians Unite In Prayer After Self-Immolations

Reuters | Posted 06.05.2013 | Religion

By Angel Krasimirov SOFIA, April 5 (Reuters) - Bulgarians set aside religious and political differences on Friday at the start of thre...

The Green Marketeer

John Feffer | Posted 06.03.2013 | World
John Feffer

The state and the market have long been in a tug of war in East-Central Europe. The Communists were not the first political force to recommend that the state play a much larger role in the economy.

The Regime Changer

John Feffer | Posted 06.02.2013 | World
John Feffer

After 1989, some of the dissidents of East-Central Europe went back to their original job. Others threw themselves into politics, as Vaclav Havel somewhat reluctantly did. And then there was the smallest category of them all: the dissidents who turned professional.

The World According to Ataka

John Feffer | Posted 03.26.2013 | World
John Feffer

The party's platform mixes a left-wing critique of globalization with a frankly nationalist approach to minority policy. He wants to replace Bulgaria's flat tax with a progressive tax, but he believes that all ethnic Turks are just Bulgarians forced to convert to Islam in centuries past.

Religious Freedom in Bulgaria

John Feffer | Posted 05.25.2013 | World
John Feffer

The "case of the 13 imams" sounds almost mythic. But the current case the Bulgarian government is prosecuting against 13 imams from the area of Pazardzhik -- west of Plovdiv on the way to Sofia -- is very real.

Desperate Bulgarian Sets Self On Fire

AP | VESELIN TOSHKOV | Posted 03.20.2013 | World

SOFIA, Bulgaria -- A Bulgarian man set himself on fire Wednesday to protest poverty in his country, becoming the sixth citizen to do that in a month. ...

A Tale of Two Reforms

John Feffer | Posted 05.18.2013 | World
John Feffer

Slovenia and Bulgaria are, respectively, the best-case scenario and the cautionary example of "transition" states. Both have struggled to transform communist-era economic and political structures. Both are now members of the European Union and NATO.

The Road Ahead for Bulgaria

Daniel Wagner | Posted 03.15.2013 | World
Daniel Wagner

If Bulgaria seeks to attract more foreign investment and become a more mainstream EU member, Sofia must address the corruption issue head on. Moreover, the Bulgarian people must continue to demand greater accountability from their leaders.