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Issue 60

Tuesday 6 October 2009

Elena Marushiakova, Vesselin Popov, Gypsies in the Ottoman Empire: A Contribution to the History of the Balkans, translation into Arabic by Muhammed Magribi (Sphinx Agency, Egypt 2009), supported by the South-South Translation Grants Program

This is the first study to be published on history, social structure, ethnography, and culture of the Gypsies in the Ottoman empire, based on thorough and extensive research of a previously unknown or unpopular data. The Roma presence is interpreted within the overall ethnic picture of the empire in the given period. Through studying the archives (mainly tax and guild registers, special laws, court documents, travelogues, etc.) the authors prove Gypsies’ deep influence on the historical development of the Balkan countries, which have often been called “the second motherland of the Gypsies”.

Fatmagül Berktay, Gender of History, translation into Arabic by Mohammad Ahmad Itani (Dar Kreidieh for Printing, Publishing & Distributing, Beirut, Lebanon 2009), supported by the South-South Translation Grants Program

The collection of essays by the feminist theorist Fatmagül Berktay is claimed to be a reference book, important not only for the relatively narrow field of Gender studies, but also for the contemporary philosophy and critical theory in general. The author offers her complex interpretation of the concept of identity and identity politics by overlapping the bordering realms of philosophy, political history, history of human rights, feminist theory, etc. Although the author suggests and applies a refined gendered and poststructuralist perspective on the problem of identity, she also preserves an utopian horizon where “the notion of reason and humanity beyond gendered stereotypes” may turn into reality one day.

(JPG) Strangers in Belgrade Become comiX Heroes

The Strip it! workshop on comix creation took place in Belgrade, Serbia, from 17th till 27th of September. This workshop was the first event of a larger initiative for youth exchange, funded by the “Youth in Action” programme and organized by Mreza Mozaik and Inicijativa SADA, (Serbia), and Platform Spartak (the Netherlands).

The main goal of the organizers is to reveal “the naked truth about xenophobia as drawn by comic artist”. As far as the concept of Strip it! coincides with many of the ideas, inspiring comiXculture initiative of the Next Page foundation, the project assistant Ina Doublekova attended the opening of the workshop to meet the organizers.

Right at the foot of the TV tower of Belgrade (which is still under construction), 25 young comic artists from Spain, Serbia, Croatia, Czech Republic and Bulgaria gathered to explore the stereotypical misconceptions which lead to the hatred of the Other. As a result of the ten days intensive work, comixes under the title “Being a stranger in Belgrade” will be produced and published.