What Our Fantasies About the European “Middle Ages” Says About Us

LOS ANGELES — To explain why I am standing outside the dinner theater juggernaut Medieval Times in the name of journalism, I would have to go back to the beginning: specifically, to 500 CE, the generally agreed upon start of the Middle Ages, which is a contemporary term for a 1,000-year period (500–1500) in world … Read more

Standouts and Historic Firsts by Eastern European Artists and Curators at the Venice Biennale

The 59th Venice Biennale opened against the backdrop of Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine and the continuing rise of authoritarianism in Eastern Europe, as Vladimir Putin’s close ally, Viktor Orban, had just won his fourth term as Hungary’s prime minister. At this moment, defined by war crimes and the oppression of minority groups, it seems … Read more

The Eastern European Artists Who Moved Forward by Starting From Scratch

From Scratch at Peter Freeman Inc., which features five Eastern European artists, highlights a common desire among the artists that “art should proceed from the basic, elemental, and essential,” as the press release states, while still reflecting on the aesthetic and sociopolitical issues of their geographical and historical contexts. Organized by Croatian art critic and … Read more

European Parliament “Strongly Condemns” Azerbaijan’s Destruction of Armenian Heritage

On March 10, the European Parliament adopted a resolution that “strongly condemns” Azerbaijan’s intentional destruction of Armenian cultural heritage in Nagorno-Karabakh (or Artsakh in Armenian). The resolution was adopted with 635 votes to two, with 42 abstentions, and with sponsorship by six of the seven groups of the European Parliament, except for the Identity and … Read more

Queer European Cinema Exposes the Realities of Migrant Experience

In the opening scenes of Danish animated documentary Flee (2021), director Jonas Poher Rasmussen asks his subject Amin Nawabi “What is home for you?” His reply is simply “It’s someplace safe, somewhere you can stay and don’t have to move on.” The documentary recounts Nawabi’s ordeal of fleeing war-torn Afghanistan as a boy and ending … Read more

Édouard Glissant Sought to Undermine the European Ideological Underpinnings of Colonization

Since his death in 2011, Martinican author Édouard Glissant’s star has only continued to rise. A polymathic poet, novelist, playwright, essayist, and philosopher, Glissant’s discourse has become a touchstone across a variety of disciplines, and translations from his prolific and complex oeuvre have continued to pour forth. (Liverpool University Press has even established a Glissant … Read more