Category | Letters from the Field RSS feed for this section

A Letter from New York: An Excerpt from “An Uncanny Era: Conversations between Václav Havel and Adam Michnik” by Elzbieta Matynia

  Havel, Michnik and the Making of 1989[i]   THE PATH OF FRIENDSHIP It was a perfect summer day in August 1978, almost exactly ten years after the armies of five Warsaw Pact countries had invaded Czechoslovakia to suppress the democratic aspirations of the Prague Spring. In the mountains between Poland and Czechoslovakia, a mountain […]

Read more Comments are closed

Letter from The New School for Social Research: Elzbieta Matynia Remembers Jonathan Schell

Long before I had any idea who Jonathan Schell was, I got a brief note from Chuck Tilly asking me to write a review essay for the Sociological Forum. The book to be reviewed was Adam Michnik’s Letters from Prison, just published by the California University Press. In 1985 I already knew Michnik, and the […]

Read more Comments are closed

Letter from New York: Susan Yelavich on Design and Performative Democracy in Wrocław

Ring in 2014 with Małe Instrumenty: The Politics of Tiny Instruments in Poland. by Susan Yelavich This New Year, as we emerge from the season of sales and the scourge of shopping, Małe Instrumenty offers a different kind of gift: music played on toy pianos. Yes, Virginia, toy pianos. Toy pianos, children’s music boxes, and […]

Read more Comments are closed

Ukraine: An Open Letter from Yuri Andrukhovych

Dear Friends, all foreign journalists and editors! Recently I received requests from many of you to describe the current situation in Kiev and generally in the Ukraine, to present my judgment of what is going on, and to present my vision of the near future.  Since it is impossible for me to write a separate […]

Read more Comments are closed

A Letter from Ukraine: Experience of Maidan

Experience of Maidan by Andriy Bondarenko Kyiv’s Maidan has really proved to be a lasting affair, strong enough to manifest the will of the majority of Ukraine’s population. Everyone could see the evidence of its ability to stand against police forces. Even during calm periods Maidan is still an impressive sight. For those of us […]

Read more Comments are closed

A Letter from New York: Elzbieta Matynia introduces a very special poem by Gema Santamaría

Interview with an Expert on Violence by Elzbieta Matynia and Gema Santamaría In late September the Transregional Center for Democratic Studies arranged a talk by Anabel Hernández, a Mexican journalist and courageous writer whose book, Narcoland: The Mexican Drug Lords And Their Godfathers, has just been published in English by Verso. I had heard about Hernández and her work, […]

Read more Comments are closed

A Letter from Russia: Notes on Movements and Protests

Prisoners and suspects Two years have passed since the unexpected appearance of a protest movement in Russia. Today the movement has declined. White ribbons, a symbol of the democratic movement, are out of fashion. And most of 28 participants of the peaceful oppositional meeting of the 6th of May 2012 that were arrested during the […]

Read more Comments are closed

A Letter from Nairobi: Dlamini Zuma’s Footsteps in the Long Walk to Continental Unity

By Moses Karanja South Africa’s Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, 63, became the first female head of the African Union (AU) Commission, a post poised to test her leadership abilities to the limit, but also to potentially make her the ablest successor to President Jacob Zuma.  In the apt words of one government official, “Ms Dlamini-Zuma’s job […]

Read more Comments are closed

A Letter from Poland/Eastern Europe: Performing Human Rights – Pussy Riot vs. the Pseudo Religious, Homophobic, Misogynists of Eastern Europe

by Tomasz Kitlinski, a TCDS alum Originally published in Deliberately Considered on September 17, 2012 The Pussy Riot trial will go down in the history of injustices as the Oscar Wilde trial of the 21st century. Against the evil powers that be, the Moscow artists acknowledged their inspirers, fellow outcasts: Socrates (this connection to the martyr of philosophy […]

Read more Comments are closed

A Letter from Johannesburg: Archbishop Tutu v. Tony Blair

By Shireen Hassim Originally published on September 7th, 2012 in Deliberately Considered   Tony Blair came to Johannesburg last week. He was part of the Discovery Leadership Summit, hosted by Discovery Invest, and as you might expect he was the headline act.  Tony Blair on leadership: now that would be an interesting lecture, if you could afford the […]

Read more Comments are closed