2013

The Slovak Example

Of the three multiethnic countries that dissolved in the aftermath of the Cold War, Czechoslovakia fared the best. The two successor states suffered none of the violence, economic catastrophe, or political discord that Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union experienced. Indeed, the relations between Prague and Bratislava are probably better now than they’ve ever been. The… Continue reading The Slovak Example

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The Jellification of Politics

The world will not end with bang or a whimper. It will end with the silent slither of jellyfish. Literally. And figuratively. On the literal level, jellyfish are indeed taking over. As a result of global warming, overfishing, and fertilizer runoff, these surprisingly hardy creatures are spreading into new territory. Certain jellyfish can kill you. If… Continue reading The Jellification of Politics

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Public, Private, and Political Art

During the Communist era, the governments in East-Central Europe tried to shoehorn art into the category of socialist realism. Artists were reconfigured as cultural workers who ideally created works to advance society in the same way that a steelworker shaped pig iron to advance skyscraper construction. The overlap was often quite direct. Many paintings and… Continue reading Public, Private, and Political Art

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