Kapka Kassabova

Ian Mole reviews Kapka Kassabova’s ‘Street Without a Name’

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This very enjoyable and informative book was among the first I ever read about Bulgaria. I knew one of the Wombles was called Uncle Bulgaria and a few other facts about the country too.  There was also a great deal that I didn’t know so I now feel that Bulgaria has been opened up to…

Ian Mole | 20/06/2014
untitled.

Jonathan Karstadt reviews Matthew Webb’s ‘Carbon Journey’ exhibition at Pushkin House

The former territory of the Soviet Union is blessed with a wealth of natural resources: Russia alone boasts over 850 million hectares of forest, the world’s largest reserves of natural gas and the second largest reserve of fresh water. However, there has been little effort in the region to preserve this abundance of natural heritage.…

Jonathan Karstadt | 16/06/2014
Claudia Campagnol

Jonathan Karstadt interviews Hungarian jazz singer Claudia Campagnol

I am at the very chic 606 Club in Chelsea, where jazz singer Claudia Campagnol is due to perform as part of the club’s Musician XChange programme, whose aim is to expose top class acts from around the world to a British jazz audience. Originally from Hungary, Campagnol moved to Sweden with her family when…

Jonathan Karstadt | 13/06/2014

Robin Ashenden reviews ‘Bloody East Europeans’ by Uilleam Blacker and Molodyi Teatr

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In Warwickshire a year ago, a fish-farmer was reported in the newspapers as putting a sign up by the side of his lake: ‘No Eastern Europeans.’ Attacks on Polish immigrants, the Guardian tells us today, have risen tenfold since 2004, and in May Nigel Farage felt at liberty, in an interview, to say that he…

Robin Ashenden | 11/06/2014
sun in a net hands

Esther Harper reviews Štefan Uher’s ‘The Sun in a Net’ (1962)

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Stefan Uher’s 1962 ‘The Sun in a Net’ (Slkno v sieti) shines an important light on a national cinema which is often overlooked. Slovak cinema finds itself dwarfed and overshadowed by the Czech variety, the geographical and historical proximity of the two countries often making it difficult for Slovak cinema to distinguish its own identity.…

Esther Harper | 07/06/2014
Corneliu Popescu

‘Buried’ A short story from Romania, by Mike Ormsby

43 Celsius: the hottest day of the year so far. I decide to walk up town, just to see how it feels. No point hiding indoors, better to adapt, that’s how humans survive. Plus, there is something I need to do – find out about Romanian writers. The Internet helps, but not much; Wikipedia offers…

Mike Ormsby | 07/06/2014
Deyan Enev, photo by Justine Тoms, via Wikimedia Commons

Ian Mole reviews ‘Circus Bulgaria’ by Deyan Enev

                  Circus Bulgaria is a collection of fifty short stories, some of them less than two pages long and many of them like postcards from a place that’s way past its best, the protagonists often struggling to survive in difficult circumstances. Although there is no definite time-reference…

Ian Mole | 07/06/2014
'Kavarma' - photo by Jeroen Kransen (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Ian Mole reviews Bolyary Bulgarian Restaurant, Palmer’s Green

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Bulgarian cuisine is a mix of European and near-Eastern influences, especially Turkish. Being a fertile country with a wide range of vegetables and fruits, it’s famous for the variety of its tasty salads. With its long coastline, fish and seafood dishes are also popular. Other distinctive items are cold and hot soups, a lot of…

Ian Mole | 04/06/2014
'My Day'

Jonathan Karstadt reviews Viktor Popkov: Genius of the Russian Soul at Somerset House

When westerners think of post-war Soviet art, they probably picture works expressing the grand Socialist Realist vision most impressively realised by Yevgeniy Vuchetich’s monumental The Motherland Calls statue in Volgograd. What probably doesn’t come to mind are colourful and expressionist portraits, dream-like works immersed in lavish symbolism, and brooding self-portraits that tackle poignant questions about…

Jonathan Karstadt | 02/06/2014