Beyond the post-soviet. Itinerant study group

Beyond the post-soviet. Itinerant study group


Session 4: In-between decolonization and desovietization
With the participation of Kateryna Botanova
Working language: English

The itinerant study group “Beyond the post-soviet” is imagined as a community of people, who wish to critically approach the concepts of the “post-Soviet” and “the post-Soviet space” through a decolonial lens, and discuss existing – and often Western-based – discourses surrounding these positions. It is conceived as a research site where we excavate ruins, seek to demystify symbols, haunt ghosts, and elucidate discourses linked to these heteroclitic geographical and cultural spaces. “Beyond the post-soviet” is meant to be a polyphony of voices and a kaleidoscope of multiple, non-hierarchized sources ranging from art history, pop culture history, political science, and decolonial thinking – to personal testimonies and narratives. Finally, it is imagined as a safe space where every individual experience and emotion is valued, while discussion and possible disagreements constitute an important part of non-consensual collectivity.

During its fourth meeting, which closes the cycle Decolonization, Kateryna Botanova will share elements of her actual research on decolonization and desovietization on the territory of Western Ukraine. Kateryna is a Ukrainian cultural critic, journalist, curator, and policy analyst based in Basel, who is interested in issues of cultural mediation, local histories, and cultural transformations. She is curating the opening project Organic Communities for Jam Factory Art Center, which will open in Lviv in 2022.

At the beginning of the meeting, Yulia Fisch and Sasha Pevak will summarize the knowledge produced collectively with a group before, around decolonization and self-colonization in relation to some of the post-Soviet regions. The introduction will be followed by the contribution by Kateryna, who will connect this knowledge to the singularity of the Lviv context, marked by early “decommunization” and a historical position in-between multiple cultural and political influences, questioning the links between decolonization and decommunization (or desovietizaion). In the second hour of the session, the participants will be invited to engage into a discussion.

On the invitation of Pavlo Kovach
Organized by: Beyond the post-soviet, Yulia Fisch, and Sasha Pevak, laureate of Résidences Sur Mesure Plus+ of the Institut français
Acknowledgements: Jan Baczyński, Nikita Kadan, Pavlo Kovach, Vadim Yakovlev