Categorie: English posts


Opposition 101 (for Harvard graduates)

#localpolitics #boring #sharepost

Dear Harvard Graduate in opposition,

here is a basic rule for opposition politics.

YOU NEVER – repeat what Government says. If Government launches „Prima Casă”, you never criticize Prima Casă. If Government organizes „Eastern Partnership and Current Security Challenges” you DON’T GO there with 3 other people and a banner to protest. If president Dodon makes a stupid statement on facebook – you don’t react. Why? Because you feed their agenda. You share their content. You play on their ground and you look like a weak echo.

YOU ALWAYS – try to push social agenda. If a grenade explodes in center of the capital city you take action and request changes in legislation. If a doctor is beaten by a patient and goes public on hospital corruption – you don’t talk about a recent international education forum nobody cares about – you make a press conference and request from the Government improving the health system.



In the first scenario the Government acts – you react. They control the agenda, the WHEN things happen, the rabbits in the hat.

In the second you act – and you put the Government in a position to react. You control the agenda, the WHEN things happen, the rabbits in the hat.






The photographer-philosopher from Athens: 24 quotes from Nikos Economopoulos' workshop

Nicos Economopoulos is a peripatetic photographer – even his home page is called From that page I found out about his Odessa workshop, planned for end of May. It was cancelled, because of the violence in Ukraine, but, in the end, he summoned the participants in Athens instead. During seven evenings Nikos discussed each participants’ pictures made during the day. Most times he went beyond technical issues and launched himself in lengthy monologues on the meaning of photography, life and everything. I took some notes and below are 24 quotes that can offer a glimpse on Nikos’ style and depth.


I have to mention that most of the quotes were part of discussing a specific picture and may appear out of context, use of imagination is recommended to fill the gaps. All the pictures of Nikos Economopoulos presented below are form Magnum Photos official website. Also, the pictures and quotes are arranged randomly.































Albania-Kosovo refugees




















Paris, London, Trondheim, Soroca (English)

(Text produced for Entranse‘s Soroca Business Incubator)

Beneficiaries of Business Incubators from Trondheim (Norway) and Soroca (Moldova) meet and talk business. Oda and Tone study in Paris and London, establish their own label in Trondheim and produce their first collection with Andrei Mirza in Soroca. Good luck, business incubees. 

It’s not every day that Norwegian entrepreneurs come to Soroca to sign contracts. Even in the new Soroca Business Incubator (IAS) that hosts Andrei Mirza’s sewing company Bevera Nord this is for the first time. Andrei was nervous in the morning of November 1st, 2010 when the contract with his new business partners was to be signed. “It is my first export contract. I am a little bit worried because we both are starting something new.”

Oda Midtlyng Klempe, Toda Olsen and Sndrei Mîrza during negotiations in Bevera Nord Ltd central office,
hosted by Soroca Business Incubator.

The two Norwegian designers were not very calm, neither. Tone Olsen and Oda Midtlyng Klempe are in their 20’s, starting up their new business. They are also beneficiaries of a Business Incubator, but from Trondheim, Norway. They studied and still study design in Paris and London and established their new label in February 2010. It’s called Sølv, meaning Silver in Norwegian.

Oda: “I really like silver. It’s something that sparkles, it is precious.”

Tone: “Yes, it made sense. As a material, silver means value, precious, beauty, something that you look after. I think that it’s a good name.”

This was their first trip to Moldova. They found out about this country after an official visit IAS people made to Norway this summer. The thing is that IAS is a project financed by the Norwegian government. Initially, no additional business links were planned, but IAS is a living, developing entity and the opportunity created itself.

Oda: “We are at the beginning. This is our first collection. We could have chosen China, but we chose to do the production in Europe because we want to have a closed relation with the factory. Moldova is much closer, prices are a little bit higher and the quality of the work is very good. We feel more secure to work here.”

The plan of the collaboration has three steps at this point. In the first, Bevera Nord will prepare a set of prototypes and send them to Norway. The second phase is the sewing of the first collection. In the third phase, a second, larger collection is to be produced.

Andrei: “Of course the amount of the first order is small for us. We work now on a huge contract with Moldovan Army and switching production lines will take some time. But I’m looking into the future and as we both will grow, the amount of work will.”

During their stay the Norwegian businesswomen travelled to Soroca and visited Bevera Nord production line in IAS.

Oda: “Moldova has beautiful, pastel landscapes. There is a big contrast between the huge gray soviet buildings and the small, colored, cute traditional houses. Also men are very masculine and women are very feminine in Moldova. It’s a difference that diminishes in the western countries.”

Soroca Business Incubator hosts 17 local companies, most of them start-ups. It offered them training and grants and provides now cheap hosting. In less than one year of activity it became a center of attention from businesses, economic development projects and Government officials. As some companies use this opportunity to grow, will it become a center of attracting investments and generating export activity? Mr. Mirza and his Norwegian partners might have an answer.


Interview with John McConnico, Pulitzer prize winning photographer

Recently I’ve discovered the amazing Boston Globe’s Big Picture blog. After reading this article please visit them — — you won’t regret. The World Animal Day collection attracted me in the first place since I am a birdwatcher. From the 40 pictures shown there, the one with the zebra attracted me most. I can’t tell exactly why, but I’ve watched it a little bit, then went down to reading the caption and the zebra was from Chişinău, capital of Moldova, where I actually live. First surprise.

And the picture wasn’t taken by a Moldovan, of course, but by a guy called John McConnico. Who’s this guy? Google answered. Pulitzer prize winner, worked mainly for AP in 70+ countries, covered conflicts in Haiti, Afghanistan, Kenia, Balkans… Why would a guy like this take a picture of a Zebra in Chişinău?

His home page — — answered. Because he stays there right now. There was a Moldovan phone number there, I called, introduced myself and asked for an interview. “Sure“, said John, “I have two free hours tomorrow, write down the address.“ I did. Through the window I could see his house. It was 100 meters from the place I’m staying the last 15 years.

The interview was published this week in Romanian by Punkt magazine. Don’t hurry to click, their website is not often updated. I place here 90% of the original interview in English in PDF format.

John McConnico Interview