Monthly Archive: June 2007

The Sorokin Affair Five Years Later On Cultural Policy in Today’s Russia

Five years ago, a campaign and criminal case against the writer Vladimir Sorokin attracted considerable public and media attention in Russia. In this essay, we begin by reviewing the events of the Sorokin affair and then attempt to understand it in the context of the Putin regime’s discursive practices.

One day in mid-January 2002 a large group of clean-cut young people gathered in the center of Moscow. They came out to protest what they claimed to be the obscene and unwholesome character of certain recent works of Russian literature. At the rally, they announced the beginning of a massive campaign … Read more

Gulnara Kasmalieva and Muratbek Djumaliev’s A New Silk Road: Algorithm of Survival and Hope

Gulnara Kasmalieva and Muratbek Djumaliev’s A New Silk Road: Algorithm of Survival and Hope; The Art Institute of Chicago, February 1-May 6, 2007

The photographs and video installations of Gulnara Kasmalieva and Muratbek Djumaliev draw on various documentary styles and techniques to capture the changing social landscape of their native Kyrgyzstan since it became an independent republic in 1991. Like many artists of post-Soviet Europe and Central Asia, their practice is a discursive one that casts a critical yet empathetic eye on their indigenous subjects (human and otherwise) and the political spaces they occupy.

Their collaborative projects engage in what … Read more

The Topography of Central European Art

Marina Grzinic, Guenther Heeg, Veronika Darian (eds.), Mind the Map! History Is Not Given! A Critical Anthology Based on the Symposium. Leipzig: Institute of Theater Studies, 2006.

Central Europe: What is it? The whole collection of the small nations between two powers, Russia and Germany. The eastern-most edge of the West…Is it true that the borders of Central Europe are impossible to trace in any exact, lasting way? It is indeed! Those nations have never been masters of either their own destinies or their borders. They have rarely been the subjects of history, almost always its objects. Their unity Read more