Why the reality of post-Communist Europe has not measured up to the expectations of 1989.
By Jiri Pehe
“Now we have a democracy,” Tomas G. Masaryk, the first president of Czechoslovakia, said of his new country upon its founding 90 years ago. “What we also need are democrats.”
These words could be applied as aptly to the post-communist countries of contemporary East-Central Europe. The problem of “democracies without democrats” is as real today as it was when Masaryk’s new state rose from the ashes of World War I. Continue reading …
Shturcite (The Crickets) has been Bulgaria’s most popular rock band since the late 1960s. Their 1990 song “Az sym prosto Chovek” (“I’m Only Human”) became an anthem of the country’s democratic movement, and songwriter/frontman Kiril Marichkov served in the Bulgarian parliament.
A Madonna concert in Sofia sparks reflections on rock and pop’s role in the revolution.
By Boyko Vassilev
National Stadium had rarely seen such a crowd. When Madonna appeared, the shouts of 60,000 people erupted. The concert of concerts, which made this 29 August unforgettable for many Bulgarians, began with ticking video clocks and with her, the Queen of Pop, on a throne, receiving the ovation of the obsessed. Continue reading …