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Shadows of Control · Disruptive Fridays #10

Shadows of Control · Disruptive Fridays #10


Elena B. Stavrevska, Artan Sadiku, Filip Balunovic, Elena Veljanovska


Disruption Network Lab





The way we experience politics has changed rapidly since the beginning of the pandemic. Globally, the pandemic has uncovered many weak spots in our societies, such as our health care systems, care facilities and solidarity practices. While governments are purportedly ‘doing everything’ to protect the population, in public life  we also witness growing state intervention, exercise of control and use of combative language.

Elena B. Stavrevska (political scientist, London School for Economics and Political Science, MK/UK),
Artan Sadiku (Philosopher and activist, MK),
Filip Balunovic (Political scientist, SRB)
moderated by Elena Veljanovska (Disruption Network Lab, MK/DE).

What are the effects of this on democracy? What measures are states taking to combat the pandemic and how do they affect citizens? How is the crisis communicated to citizens and how is this reflecting the culture of governing? What does growing state intervention mean for politics, conflict studies, human rights, solidarity and activism?

This conversation focuses on the response to the coronavirus outbreak in South Eastern European countries: North Macedonia, Serbia, Kosovo, Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The speakers examine and question the execution of some political decisions in the region, the different political styles, misinformation and the lack of dialogue with the citizens. By taking a critical approach, they also talk about citizens’ response to the measures, and how these measures reflected the current state of democracy in the respective societies.

Elena B. Stavrevska is a peace scholar whose work has explored issues of gender, intersectionality, and political economy in post-war societies. She is currently a research officer at the Centre for Women, Peace and Security and an academic associate at the Latin America and Caribbean Centre at the London School for Economics and Political Science. During the 2018-2019 academic year she was a visiting research fellow at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame, where she worked on her book manuscript with focus on gender provisions in peace agreements and the ways in which they are translated into laws and policies in an effort to address past injustices and violences. Drawing on ethnographic research and interviews with Roma women in Bosnia and Herzegovina and indigenous women in Colombia, the book highlights the intersectional impact of those ‘translations’ and advances the concept of intersectional justice in peace processes. She holds a PhD in Political Science (2017) and an MA in International Relations and European Studies (2008) from Central European University (CEU). Beyond her academic work, she has been working closely with different civil society organisations and think tanks in the Balkans. As of 2017, she is a co-founder of Stella, which inter alia initiated the first mentorship programme for women and girls in higher education in Macedonia, aiming to build solidarity networks while taking into consideration concerns of first generation and minority female students in particular. She is also the initiator of the #WomenAlsoKnowBalkans list, in an effort to facilitate the inclusion of women in policy and media discussions in and about the region.

Filip Balunovic received a PhD from the department of Political Science and Sociology at the Scuola Normale Superiore in Florence. His research interest includes political economy, social movements, Marxism, political philosophy and political theory. He graduated from the Faculty of Political Science in Belgrade and received his MA degree in International Relations and European Studies from the European Institute in Nice. He received his second MA degree in Human Rights and Democracy from Universities of Sarajevo and Bologna. Balunovic is the executive editor of the Serbian edition of Le Monde Diplomatique and author of the book “Freedom Notebooks” (Mediteran, 2014) (Serbian “Beleske sa slobode”). He is lecturing at the Department of Politics, at the Faculty of Media and Communication in Belgrade. He is a research fellow at the CAS SEE in Rijeka.

Artan Sadiku is a researcher, theorist and activist and holds a PhD in philosophy. He has studied and researched at the universities in Amsterdam, Oslo, Munich and Baltimore. His primary theoretical interests are theories of the subject, feminism and radical practices in politics and arts. He has worked as a researcher in Skopje at the Institute for social studies and humanities where he led the School for politics and critique and is the founder of the Culture Club Syndicate and the activist movement Solidarnost. He was a prominent actor in protest movements such as Aman!, #protestiram and the Academic Plenum and currently is a member of the organizing board of the KRIK festival for critical culture. He is a regular contributor in regional and international journals such as Le Monde Dilomatique, Journal Identities and Bilten. His latest writings deal with the question of the space of art in the society and the aesthetic form of the workers.

Elena Veljanovska (Senior project manager, Disruption Network Lab, MK/DE)
Elena Veljanovska is a senior project manager at the Disruption Network Lab. From 2012 to 2019 she was the executive director and programme curator at Kontrapunkt Skopje, where among other projects, with Iskra Geshoska she co-developed the Festival for Critical Culture – CRIC (founded in 2016). In 2006 she co-founded Line I+M Platform for New Media Art and Technology, where she was the artistic director until 2010. Veljanovska has worked as a curator and cultural manager with numerous organisations and artists.


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