Notes from my current research Read more

The prequel to “Finding Tito”

(this post is now published also on balcanicaucaso.org)

A few weeks ago, out of curiosity, Davide Denti asked me if I knew how to parse OpenStreetMap data in order to find all streets and squares dedicated to Tito in the former Yugoslavia. I was unfamiliar with how OpenStreetMap stores data, but after a few quick attempts I managed to extract some data and produce a map that looked meaningful. Early feedback suggested that the data were incomplete, and I did not fully polish the data, but – aware that I would not have the time to work on this in the following weeks, and perhaps I would never pick it up again – I decided to make public the draft document I created. I included a notice highlighting that the document was in draft form, that it was only based on OpenStreetMap data, that the data have not been revised and may include substantial inaccuracies. I also made clear that I welcomed suggestions on how to improve it.

Having done this, I thought it was fine to share the result on Twitter. Continue reading…

Abkhazia’s parliamentary elections: not for the famous?

Is being famous nationally an asset or a liability for candidates competing in a single-constituency electoral system in a small polity? Judging from the recent elections in Abkhazia, certainly not a big asset, and probably a liability, in particular in the second round.

In this post, “being famous” is operationalised as “number of mentions of given candidate” in Abkhazia’s main news agency. Relevant data are presented in a few graphs below. While only those familiar with political figures in Abkhazia will recognise the names, colour schemes should make this post intelligible also to readers interested in the general question, rather than to election dynamics in this specific case. Continue reading…

Word frequency of Ukraine, Crimea, DNR/LNR and Novorossiya on 1tv.ru

The data included in this post were prepared for publication on the online journal Ukraine-Analysen 182 (http://www.laender-analysen.de/ukraine/pdf/UkraineAnalysen182.pdf).

This is a quick update to the data presented in a previous post published on this blog in November 2015 on “Word frequency of ‘Ukraine’, ‘Crimea’, and ‘Syria’ on Russia’s First Channel“.

The dataset has been created by extracting textual contents of each news item published on Pervy Kanal’s website between the beginning of Putin’s presidency on 7 May 2012 and 1 March 2017 (115.369 articles in total). Continue reading…

Articles and analyses Mostly about the Caucasus and post-Soviet de facto states   Read more

The presidential election in Transnistria

Originally published on Presidential Power

The presidential election that took place on 11 December 2016 in Transnistria, a de facto independent state within the internationally recognised borders of Moldova, ended with the resounding victory of the speaker of parliament, Vadim Krasnoselski (62,3%), over the incumbent president, Yevgeny Shevchuk (27,38%), the candidate of the Communist party, Oleg Khorzhan (3,17%), and others (including 3,4% who voted “against all”, which is formally one of the options given on the ballot). Continue reading…

The upcoming presidential election in Transnistria

Originally published on Presidential Power

Presidential elections in Transnistria, a de facto independent state within the internationally recognised borders of Moldova, are scheduled for 11 December 2016. Out of a total of seven registered candidates, the two main contenders for the position are the incumbent president, Yevgeny Shevchuk, and Vadim Krasnoselski, who currently serves as the speaker of the Transnistrian parliament (locally still known as “Supreme Soviet”). Continue reading…

Social issues Recent articles and feature stories focused on social issues   Read more
Random pics, etc. Picture, video clips and multimedia projects   See more

Journey to Armenia – A film documentary project

front-mandelstam“Journey to Armenia” is a film documentary project I’ve been working on together with my colleagues at Osservatorio since 2009. It develops around the journey of Osip and Nadezhda Mandelstam in the Caucasus in 1930 (at the basis of Osip’s “Journey to Armenia”) and more in general around the life of the Mandelstams. At the same time, it is also a journey from Abkhazia to Nagorno Karabakh across today’s Caucasus.

The project went through many stages and different concepts, but unfortunately we haven’t managed to find appropriate funding to make it real.

Least all the work we’ve done remains forgotten in a drawer, we’ve decided to publish some of the working materials. They’re all available on Osservatorio‘s website in Italian and English.

The most enjoable part of it all is probably the multimedia script, which includes photo and video materials mostly gathered by me as “visual notes” on the planned shooting locations. Follow this link and enjoy the experience.

If you’re not familiar with the story of Osip and Nadezhda Mandelstam, before heading to the multimedia script (or the other materials published on the project’s page), I warmly suggest reading this short note about them.

Continue reading…