Two Cheers for the Serbian Government

Two Cheers for the Serbian Government

Cross-posted from JohnFeffer.com. John is currently traveling in Eastern Europe and observing its transformations since 1989. It’s not easy to find people in East-Central Europe who will put in a good word for government. First there are all the traditional...
Hungary: A Cancer in the Middle of Europe

Hungary: A Cancer in the Middle of Europe

There’s no goose-stepping in the streets. There are no curfews or explicit censorship or martial law. The cafes, in fact, are full of happy, laughing people. Tourists continue to flood the country. If you don’t speak Hungarian and if you don’t speak to Hungarians, you...
The City and the City

The City and the City

Kosice is not simply one city. Like any Central European metropolis worthy of the name, many urban incarnations coexist cheek and jowl in this charming capital of eastern Slovakia. In the Old Town, a medieval church overlooks a beautifully preserved Renaissance palace...
Organizing the Public in East-Central Europe

Organizing the Public in East-Central Europe

Cross-posted from JohnFeffer.com. John is currently traveling in Eastern Europe and observing its transformations since 1989. The transformations of 1989 began in the streets as people protested their governments in Leipzig, Prague, Bucharest, and Sofia. The agents of...
The Failure of Funding Roma Inclusion

The Failure of Funding Roma Inclusion

Cross-posted from JohnFeffer.com. John is currently traveling in Eastern Europe and observing its transformations since 1989. Shortly before the last national elections in Bulgaria in 2011, an incident took place in the village of Katunitsa, which is not far from the...
Europe’s Favorite Scapegoat: the Roma

Europe’s Favorite Scapegoat: the Roma

Peggy Hollinger and Chris Bryant of the Financial Times put their fingers on what’s behind the current uproar over Europe’s Roma population: the group is “an easy target for politicians seeking to distract attention from problems at home by playing...
Vasil Kadrinov

Vasil Kadrinov

Vasil Kadrinov. Photo Don Russell. On the Roma The Roma first came to Europe in the 9th century and not much later to Bulgaria. This place is a crossroads of cultures and peoples. There’s not been serious historical research on the Roma during Turkish rule. But...
Anton Karagozov

Anton Karagozov

  Anton Karagozov, Foundation for Regional Roma Development, Bulgaria On the work of his organization I come from Plovdiv. It has the biggest, compact quarter of Roma population. There are 40,000 Roma who live in this quarter. I was a leader of one of the Roma...
Valentine Mitiev

Valentine Mitiev

Valentine Mitiev. Photo by Don Russell. When I was at university, I had to work at a factory every summer to earn money. I worked with many Turks there. Before 1998, we didn’t emphasize any difference between Turks and Bulgarians. You had to hike a lot to get to...
Roumen Yanovski

Roumen Yanovski

Roumen Yanovski, ACCESS, Sofia, Bulgaria On the media Despite the changing laws, the international position, and the emergence of two generations, there has been extremely limited change in Bulgaria in terms of ideas about ethnicity and ethnic groups. A lot of people...
Deyan Kiuranov

Deyan Kiuranov

Deyan Kiuranov. Photo by Don Russell. Deyan Kiuranov On the Movement for Rights and Freedoms Yes, it is corrupt. But no, that doesn’t mean it plays a bad role in today’s political establishment. One of the reasons is that the whole establishment is...
Violeta Draganova

Violeta Draganova

Violeta Draganova. Photo by John Feffer. Bulgarian National Television presenter Violeta Draganova On becoming a journalist I learned to read before the first grade. So on the very first day of school, I was the only one who could already read. From those very early...