Paper Tigers on the frontline East, debate, Faculty for Social Sciences Ljubljana
The war in Ukraine, militarization of the Baltic states, Poland and Romania, also the ongoing proceedings in Macedonia show that military power has obtained a strategic role in the management of everyday life in Eastern Europe. Whether it is the consequence of the failure in transformation or the economic crisis, or if it can be seen as part of the shift into necropolitics in the post 9/11 West - this is to be discussed.
Situated at the margins of Europe, the Baltic states have been experiencing a rapid post-Soviet transformation in the 90s to the success displays of "the Baltic Tigers" throughout the 00's, and yet again the re-activation of "the East" with the re-deployment of binary Cold War logic since the 2014.
The title of the event refers to different periods of developments in the Baltic states - one is the reference to the decade of unsustainable economic growth in the 00's and the celebrated miracle of "the Baltic Tigers", the second part to the post-crisis period of heavy economic hangover and recent rapid militarization due to the conflict in Ukraine. During the event we will try to review and contextualize the so-called transition and boom periods in the Baltics, and to answer questions why recent re-activation of old Cold War rhetorics has a wide reaching implications on the societies in this region. Furthermore, we will try to analyze this region through a broader discourse of coloniality and discuss the possibilities of re-thinking the notions of "east" and "periphery".
Rapolas Valiukevičius is a BA student of Social Policy at Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas, Lithuania. He is currently living in Ljubljana.
Tanel Rander is an artist and curator, based in Tartu, Estonia. Since 2010 he has been working on artistic PhD research, focused on the decolonial rearticulation of Eastern Europe. He was our artist in residency in June 2015.