Before/After

BEFORE/AFTER Reading of a new play by John Feffer Part of the European Month of Culture Supported by the Delegation of the European Union to the United States 90 minutes Before/After is a multimedia portrait of the transformation of East-Central Europe told by the people who made it happen. Through words, pictures, video, and music, it tells the story of the people who chipped away at the Iron...
read more

Before/After

The fall of the Berlin Wall was one of the most dramatic events of the 20th century. It happened suddenly on the evening of November 9, 1989 when thousands of East Germans decided to take history into their own hands and pour over the border into the West. Although the Soviet Union wouldn’t disintegrate for another two years, the fall of the Wall effectively spelled the end of the Cold...
read more

Full Interview List

In 2012-13, as part of an Open Society Foundation fellowship, I re-interviewed many of the people I talked to in 1990 when I traveled for seven months through East-Central Europe. Twenty-three years later, I also interviewed a wide range of additional people in order to get as broad a picture as possible of what has changed (and not changed) in the region since the transformations of 1989. I send...
read more

Poland’s Uncivil Society

During the 1980s, Poland had perhaps the strongest civil society in the world. The Solidarity trade union movement, created in August 1980, eventually counted 10 million members, a quarter of Poland’s population. And when the government cracked down on Solidarity, declaring Martial Law in December 1981, the opposition was strong enough to survive underground under considerably adverse...
read more

Women’s Delegation to Cross the DMZ

In June 1998, the business tycoon Chung Ju-Yung drove 500 cattle across the Demilitarized Zone separating North and South Korea. Then, leaning on a cane, the frail founder of the Hyundai conglomerate hobbled across the border himself. He was the first civilian to make the crossing without government escort in over half a century. The symbolic delivery of food to a starving country that was...
read more