Political parties in East-Central Europe are like amoebas. They are constantly splitting apart (mitosis) and then banding together in coalitions (aggregation). For someone coming from a U.S. context of two relatively stable parties, the political scene in East-Central Europe seems hopelessly complex. That goes double for Romania.
In 1990, the issue that catapulted Romania into the headlines in the West, after the rise and fall of Ceausescu, was the country's orphanages. Journalists and foreign health care workers were appalled to discover the condition of babies and children in the many state-run institutions in the country.
If the term "apartheid" shames the establishment into acting -- and prompts pundits to utter the word "race" when discussing inequality -- then by all means let's use the unflattering comparison. It's a fitting way of bearing witness to the life and times of Michael B and everyone else who has suffered under this abhorrent system.
Activist Judit Hatfaludi took a position with Hungary's Feminist Network to coordinate a campaign to lobby for the pro-choice bill back in the '90s. We recently caught up about the current state of women's issues in Hungary, why the annual Pride marches are no longer like jubilees, and what she does now in her current work as a shaman.