Tag Archives: Catastroika

Catastroika goes public

Catastroika's poster

Here is the new crowd-sourced documentary by Aris Chatzistefanou. It’s called Catastroika (click here for Greek or English subtitles) and was just released for online viewing. I copy from the team’s website:

It was at the beginning of 1989 when the French academic Jacques Rupnik sat at his desk, in order to prepare a report on the state of the economic reforms in Mikhail Gorbatsov’s Soviet Union. The term that he used in describing the death rattle of the empire was “Catastroika”. In Yeltsin’s time, when Russia instituted maybe the biggest and least successful privatization experiment in the history of humanity, a group of Guardian reports assigned a different meaning to Rupnik’s term. “Catastroika” became synonym of the country’s complete destruction by market forces; the sell off of public property; and the steep deterioration of citizens’ living standards. Now, Catastroika’s unit of measurement was unemployment, social impoverishment, declining life expectancy, as well as the creation of a new cast of oligarchs, who took over the country’s reins. A few years later, a similar effort to massively privatize public property in unified Germany (which is presented as a model for Greece) created millions of unemployed and some of the biggest scandals in European history.
It is this “Catastroika” that is coming soon to Greece; to “Europe’s last Soviet Republic” as the MPs and the ministers of its former “socialist” government liked to call it. Catastroika is the logical aftermath and continuation of “Debtocracy”. Therefore, the logical sequence of our first documentary, which examined the causes of the debt crisis in Greece and the European periphery as a whole.
For more info click here.

Catastroika

Greek journalists Aris Chatzistefanou and Katerina Kitidi have produced a video trailer for their new documentary Catastroika. It is about the global trend of privatizations in the past two decades. Unfortunatelt it is only in Greek but I believe that they will soon have it subtitled. [UPDATE: I’ve substituted the Greek trailer with the one in English]

Their previous project, Debtocracy, is a documentary produced through the method of crowdsourcing. It focused on “the causes of the debt crisis and proposed solutions, hidden by the government and the dominant media“. It was distributed freely on the web and has so far been translated in six languages. You can watch the whole film here.

The neologism “catastroika” was first coined by Russian dissident writer Alexander Zinoviev. You can find out more about him here and here.