From Shakespeare's "Midsummer Night's Dream" to Nora Ephron's "You've Got Mail", it's the gaps in characters' knowledge that are decisive in propelling the plot forward, writes Andreas Bernard. But now information is permanently available, narrative and imagination will never be the same again.
"Krytyka Polityczna" considers the chances of success for DiEM25; dérive pays a visit to departure city Pristina; in "Esprit", Olivier Roy revisits the secularization of the religious; "Multitudes" takes on the populist mediarchy; "Letras Libres" unpacks the translator's toolbox; "A2" explores artistic practices of the Anthropocene; "Ord&Bild" returns to the '80s; and "Merkur" appeals for a poetics of digital knowledge.
Can Yanis Varoufakis turn his bid to democratize the European Union into a mass social movement? And if so, will it be able to deliver a political turn similar to Roosevelt's New Deal of the 1930s? Political scientist Michal Sutowski assesses the chances of DiEM25 succeeding.
The focal point "Ukraine in European dialogue" aims to tackle Ukraine fatigue in the West and to offer deeper insight into post-revolutionary Ukrainian society, with its unique mix of hope, enthusiasm, social creativity, collective trauma of war, radicalism and disillusionment.
Ukraine's Revolution of Dignity was triggered by the government's decision to postpone signing the long-awaited Association Agreement with the European Union. Protesters on Kyiv's streets chanted "Ukraine is Europe!", and waved EU and Ukrainian flags side-by-side. Two years after the victory of the Maidan protests, what is left of this pro-European idealism?
It was not long ago that the countries of eastern and central Europe served as a model of successful democratic transition for Ukraine. But today, Poland's turn to the right has refocused attention on the roots of the region's illiberal democracies. Anton Shekhovtsov considers the implications of these developments for Europe as a whole.
The political discourse on LGBT rights has shifted in Ukraine after the Maidan and as a result of the conflict with Russia, which aggressively promotes "traditional values". However, writes Maria Teteriuk, the efficacy of recent legal reform concerning LGBT rights, introduced as part of the visa-free deal with the EU, remains to be seen.
Though Russia's annexation of Crimea in March 2014 moved at breakneck pace, it followed a long anti-Ukrainian propaganda campaign. Ekaterina Sergatskova, a former Russian journalist who lived in Crimea for some years before moving to Kyiv, describes the growing mutual alienation between the inhabitants of the peninsula and mainland Ukraine.
When Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill met in Havana, for one part of the Catholic Church the past seemed to be repeating itself, writes Katherine Younger. In the nineteenth century, the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church found itself in the middle of both diplomatic negotiations and ideological clashes between the Vatican and Russia and it is again today.
Today's mass-produced Russian science fiction is brimming with motifs of imperial revenge and a cult of military aggression. Moreover, writes Konstantin Skorkin, the imperial visions of science fiction authors have turned into a guide to action.
There is a genuinely European future for central Europe, insists Michal Koran. But it won't come to fruition without a frank look at the deficiencies that accompanied the transformation of central European societies during the last two decades.
The wave of migrants from the Middle East and North Africa is threatening to unravel the very foundations of European ideas of full citizenship, asylum and refuge, says Arjun Appadurai. But there must be a richer cultural road to legal and bureaucratic solutions currently being debated.
As in so many cities on the European periphery, Kosovo's capital Pristina is fundamentally shaped by emigration. Jonas König explores the departure city, where provisional structures become long-term solutions, and translocal spaces and networks are ever-present.
The fascination of a borderless world has rapidly worn off in an age of accelerating mobility, writes Ivaylo Ditchev. And as forms of mobility become increasingly collective, so the deeper the crisis of the liberal border-machine grows.
With temporary border controls threatening to become permanent in response to the refugee crisis and a spirit of separatism in the air, leading commentators from central Europe assemble in Budapest to discuss how to reverse the deepening divisions among EU member states.
"Revue Projet" says climate justice remains within reach; "Razpotja" studies the anthropology of local responses to global changes; "Blätter" insists that an open Europe can succeed if states are strong; "Free Speech Debate" says no one should feel the need to censor themselves; "Varlik" considers the fates of Can Dündar and Erdem Gül; "Mittelweg 36" keeps tabs on the avant-garde of digital capitalism; "Vagant" finds itself between a superabundance of data and a swarm of insects; and "Springerin" critiques the new materiality of today's hi-tech culture.
Mainstream literature on globalization tends not to take the uniqueness of each locality seriously enough, says Thomas Hylland Eriksen. He explains how the anthropology of climate change is responding to the need for an analysis of the global situation seen from below.
At a round-table discussion held by "Revue projet" shortly after December's UN climate conference in Paris, experts discuss the prospects for lasting climate justice. Can the new dynamic exhibited at the negotiations in Paris translate into real commitment to averting climate meltdown?
In the age of Google Earth and the Human Genome Project, tensions between information processed by machines and the human capacity to tell stories have intensified. Ragnild Lome traces the evolution of these tensions in literary and visual culture from the mid-20th century onward.
In a wide-ranging discussion of European identity and regional separatisms, scholar of European ethnology Ullrich Kockel considers how competing memories need not lead to conflict but can be turned into a creative force through cultural engagement based on mutual respect.
Antallet timer kunst og håndverk er redusert fra 20 prosent på 70-tallet til 12,5 i 2022. Den kunstfaglige kompetansen synker hos norske lærere. Barn med fag som tegning, musikk og dans som en del av sin skolehverdag, utvikler kognitive funksjoner raskere enn barn som har ordinær undervisning på skolen. Kunst og kultur er styrkedråpen for demokrati og kritisk tenkning. Fremtiden etterspør kreativitet som kompetanse.