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New Europe: Eyes Wide Shut

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As the dominant discussions of globalization focus on the first/third world axis, they hardly ever gesture toward the space once known as the second world. ‘New Europe: Eyes Wide Shut' engages photography and media culture to draw attention to this distinct area. ‘Negro Go Home'; ‘Jews to Gas'; ‘Fuck the Jews' are among the most chilling and shocking graffiti that overwhelmingly mark the streets of contemporary Łódź, the second largest city in Poland. ‘I will be a traveler'; ‘Yes, I am a European'—proudly proclaim ads that circulated in Poland during the period leading to this country's acceptance to the European Union in 2004. The essay theorizes the clash between unnerving visual assaults that speak to the newly mobilized fears and phobias targeting minority groups and seductive proclamations about Europeanness. I inspect the celebratory rhetoric of globalized mobility and argue that this rhetoric strategically foregrounds what I call ‘euphoria of transnational progress' that conceals multiple sites of aggravated racial, ethnic, and economic oppression. I use Kamil Turowski's photographic project, Streets of Crocodiles , which documents these landscapes of hate, to examine the volatile topic of ethnic tensions and discursive violence that flourishes against the current of the dramatic political and cultural progress.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 September 2006

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