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ethnic turks | John Feffer
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Curating the Curators

There is an art to curation. Curators must not only choose the works for an exhibition, which involves making aesthetic judgments about “good” and “bad” as well as what fits together according to the exhibition’s theme. Curators must also provide a context for understanding the art. They put texts on the wall that identify histories, genealogies, themes. They produce catalogs that...
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Representing the Movement

The Bulgarian election season is underway with voters set to go to the polls on May 12. Public opinion polls show that the two top vote-getters are likely to be the former ruling party, Citizens for a European Bulgaria (GERB), followed by the former Communists, the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP). GERB resigned in February during a surge in protests over the economic situation in the...
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Challenging the Movement

Last fall, I spent the night in the Bulgarian city of Yambol on my way from the Black Sea coast back to Plovdiv and Sofia. Although I drove around the city looking for my hotel and poked around a bit the following morning, I failed to see what is considered the most remarkable bedesten – Ottoman-era shopping arcade — in the entire Balkans. It was built in the 16th century and has a...
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Inside the Movement

When I met Miroslav Durmov in 1990, he was a spokesperson for the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF), a political formation that focused on minority rights in Bulgaria, particularly those of ethnic Turks. We conversed in Russian, since he didn’t speak English. He wasn’t himself ethnic Turkish. But he had been concerned for some time about the human rights abuses that the Bulgarian...
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The Regime Changer

After 1989, some of the dissidents of East-Central Europe went back to their original jobs as journalists or engineers or teachers. Others threw themselves into politics, as Vaclav Havel somewhat reluctantly did. And then there was the smallest category of them all: the dissidents who turned professional. There were, after all, still some tyrants to topple around the world. Some of the...
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