Our colleague and friend Rosemary Bechler died earlier this month after a long illness. openDemocracy would not be here without Rosemary, who was involved from the outset. And today, we recommend reading some of her many pieces.
In July 2001, Rosemary reviewed “two recent European films of human migration and disconnection”. “Do they both give equal space to their characters and open up a true dialogue with their audiences?” she asked, a theme that would run through her writing.
In December 2001, Rosemary launched openDemocracy’s ‘Purpose Europa’ debate, looking at the future of the EU. After expansion, she asked: “What will Europe then be for?” Given what was to come, it’s worth a read.
“When a mordant satirist of American mores observes the layered intrigues of a 1930s English country house, we are into something far deeper than the Anglo-American heritage industry.” Who else gives you such an opening line?
As a strong ally of women’s and peace movements around the world, her reporting on Nepal’s ‘single women’s movement’ from 2006 was extraordinary.
In the run-up to the 2008 US election, Rosemary wrote a series on feminist theory, arguing against narrower, liberal feminisms and for more radial understandings of gender and international relations. The first is here, the rest linked at the bottom.
“Europe is in crisis,” Rosemary wrote in February 2012. “We must commence to practice an egalitarian, peaceful, green and democratic Europe, open to a changing world.”
In 2014, Rosemary reviewed a documentary in which the elderly residents of a Transylvanian village describe their love lives. “We have much to learn from these people. If you can help it, don’t miss this ravishing film,” she wrote.
'What I want to examine is why... progressives can’t use the same tactic as their rightwing counterparts of trashing the opposition'
Rosemary knew France and French politics extremely well, and so her 2016 interview about the country’s policing and multiculturalism is an important read.
Immediately after the Brexit referendum, Rosemary, a long-term Europhile, wrote to defend Jeremy Corbyn from The Guardian’s criticism about his role in the vote.
In 2018, Rosemary wrote a four-part series on what she called “the monocultural national us”, arguing – against some prominent thinkers – that attempts by the Left to adopt nationalism were disastrous.
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