Gorilla tapes: The voters are absolute turds

Dániel Cséfalvay

“The voters know absolutely nothing. They have no idea what is going on. These people apprehend only the tiniest superficial bits.” According to the audio recordings, these are the words of Jaroslav Haščák, one of the wealthiest Slovaks, describing his perception of democracy in practice. But, are these comments so far away from reality?

VAŠEČKA INTERVIEW: Migration fears, brainwashed teenagers and impending global catastrophe

Peter Sterančák

The joke goes like this: "Sociologists don´t do it. They just observe." Well, Prof. Vašečka is a sociologist and his observations are certainly thought-provoking and valuable, which is why we, in Il Ponte, decided he is a great candidate for a long interview in this edition. However, when it comes to discussing important sociological issues, he can be also witty, proving he does not take himself too seriously. As you can guess from the title, we covered a wide variety of topics: migration, globalization, polarization, communication, education, space exploration, and everything in-between.

Food, identity, and polarisation

Promise Frank Ejiofor

When we talk about culture, we tend to overemphasise emblematic features such as language, art, laws, customs, beliefs, knowledge and morals of a particular people and to underemphasise one particular feature: food. But food – like these other features – is a potent force of cultures and identities not only because it is a biological necessity but also because it connects people everywhere.

Whose choice is it?

Vivien Slíž

Alabama’s new law imposes the most severe restrictions on abortion in the United States. The law was passed by 25 Republicans with the deliberate intention that it ends up before the Supreme Court. These 25 men decided what women should do with their bodies. How absurd.

The Myth of Great Moravia

Jonáš Jánsky

A selective view of history is often employed by mainstream politicians as well as by governments. In this article, I would like to look at one such case, which is quite close to our hearts at Il Ponte: namely, the Slovak treatment of medieval Great Moravia.”

The age of digital identity: the trap for political action

Cade M. Olmstead

It is on social media where the vast majority of political expression is carried out after all. Is this just because of the technology’s widespread popularity or are the digital commons the only place in which one can be public? Is the virtual in our eyes virtually the only option? So much of one’s identity is increasingly tied up into these social media platforms.

Climatologist Jozef Pecho: "It can very well happen that global warming will spin out of our control"

Peter Sterančák

“Well, up until now the planet warmed up by 1 °C and we can already see some critical changes. Perhaps the most important change is the decline of biodiversity, which is caused, aside from other factors, directly by climate change. Then there is the death of coral reefs, which is already massive due to oceans warming up. Another problem is the biosphere on land.”

CLASSIC MOVIE SUNDAYS: Pulp Fiction (1994)

Georgios Merkouris

It is a daunting task to talk about this film, given how much of an impact it has had. To this day, it continues to influence cinema. It revitalized independent filmmaking, revived the careers of John Travolta and Bruce Willis, as well as made its director a household name.

INTERVIEW with Peter Vrbjar, co-founder of United Colours of Football Festival in Bratislava

Peter Sterančák

According to the official Facebook statement, it’s the anti-racist football tournament which celebrates diversity and the enriching aspect of different cultures in our own society. The organizers shy away from any form of discrimination based on nationality, race, gender or sexual orientation. I was keen to interview one of them, Peter Vrbjar, to know more…

Rwanda 1994: 100 days of brutal killing. A genocide faster than the Holocaust

Peter Sterančák

25 years ago, on April 6, 1994, the plane of Rwandan president Juvénal Habyarimana was shot down, killing everyone on board. The day after, on April 7, an apocalyptic genocide started to unfold in this small Central African nation. Over the course of the next 100 days, somewhere between 800 000 to 1 000 000 people have died, in the country with a population of 7 million.

CLASSIC MOVIE SUNDAYS: Taxi Driver (1976)

Georgios Merkouris

Often imitated yet never quite surpassed, “Taxi Driver” is one of the most unsettling motion pictures ever made. It manages to both capture the zeitgeist of its era, whilst addressing pervasive issues relevant to our world today. Taking place in New York City during the ‘70s, it tells the story of a man, haunted by his experiences, crippled by loneliness.

What2Play: FIFA Ultimate Team

Miloslav Valko

It is all about money and how to get it from people's pockets as efficiently as possible. In-game purchases in FIFA Ultimate Team were banned in Belgium recently, as the problems escalated to the level that children were stealing their parents' credit card details and using them to open those packs with a chance of 1:13 000 000 to get that Ronaldo.

What2Play: Metal Gear V: The Phantom Pain

Arnold Remenár

“The story is surprisingly deep although most of the lore is discovered through audiotapes that can be played in-game. However, even without the tapes, the story is rich with themes such as effects of genocide, PTSD, alienation as well as the reality of child soldiers. As a complete newcomer to the series, I was still able to relate and care about the plot and its characters.”

Timothy Snyder: “The thing about authoritarianism is that it’s just so boring”

Peter Sterančák, Michal Micovčin

A historian by profession, specializing in the history of Central and Eastern Europe, professor Snyder is also a permanent fellow at The Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna. We discussed, among other things: current political development in Slovakia; ideas from his latest books, the rise of authoritarianism, or power of oligarchy; a role of Europe and EU in fighting extremism; and a role of journalism in protecting truth.