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  • 12

    Resisting Images: Representation VS Revolution

    Advanced seminar arranged by the Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES), Södertörn University.

    Speaker: Almira Ousmanova, the European Humanities University (Vilnius, Lithuania)
    Chair: Irina Sandomirskaja, Södertörn University.
    Discussant: Carl Marklund, Södertörn University.

    Revolution has been one of the key words in social and political thinking of the last two centuries. After the collapse of the Soviet Union and the closure of an era of political utopias the word seemed to have vanished from the everyday vocabulary. However, nowadays we are witnessing the return of the idea of Revolution – on political scene, in media discourse, in social theory and in art. During last few years protest movements became global and have turned to be the real “festivals of resistance”, and this has been perceived as the symptom of the new ”revolutionary situation."

    In her presentation, prof. Almira Ousmanova will focus on several interrelated issues that bring together the question of Revolution and Representation. Firstly, it is worthwhile to find out what new semantic nuances the concept of the Revolution acquires in contemporary theoretical discussions, political discourses and in the media.

    Secondly, it is important to understand what is in common between the concepts of Representation and of Revolution (from the point of view of the organic relation between the crisis of political representation and the "uprisings of the masses" ("They Do not Represent Us!"), but also in the connection with the role of visual mages in the revolutionary praxis as of "multipliers of meanings, power and emotions" (W.J.T.Mitchell).

    Thirdly, the speaker is interested in the exploring to which extent the artistic experience of previous eras, related to the attempts to articulate the very Idea of ​​ the Revolution and/or "give" an aesthetic Form to the immediate experience of the revolutionary moment, becomes important for the contemporary protest art, as well as for political actionism.

    The history of visual arts and cinema provided us with rich iconography of the Revolution as an Event (from Delacroix to Eisenstein and furthermore), but contemporary art, as well as the political performances of the ”silent masses”, adhere to a completely different strategy, which consists in resisting the very logic of representation (I would call it the strategy of non-representation) and fits into the concept of Revolution as a continuous nomadic movement, becoming and evasion (G. Raunig).

    Almira Ousmanova (Ph.D. in Social Philosophy) is Professor at the Dept. of Social Sciences and Director of MA program in Cultural Studies at the European Humanities University (Vilnius, Lithuania). She is director of the Laboratory for Studies of Visual Culture and Contemporary Art (since 1999).

    She has held research fellowships in European University Institute (Italy), KWI (Germany), University of Madison-Wisconsin (USA), British Academy Fellowship in Oxford University (UK), University of Rochester (USA), Kennan Institute (USA), IKKM (Weimar, Germany), University of Bologna (Italy), Institute of Advanced Studies at CEU (Hungary) and delivered lectures and courses in the universities of Italy, Hungary, Germany, Finland, Russia, Armenia, Romania, Georgia, Ukraine, Belarus et al.

    Her research interests: Genealogy and Methodology of Visual Studies, Gender Representations in Visual Arts, Soviet cinema, Art and Politics, Marxism and Critical Theory. She is an author of Umberto Eco: paradoxes of interpretation (2000); and editor of  several collective volumes: Anthology of Gender Theory (ed., with Elena Gapova, 2000); Gender Histories from Eastern Europe (co-edited with Elena Gapova and Andrea Peto), Bi-Textuality and Cinema (ed., 2003); Gender and Transgression in Visual Arts (ed., 2007), Visual (as) Violence (ed., 2008), Belarusian Format: Invisible Reality (ed., 2008.), Feminism and Philosophy (ed., special volume of journal Topos, 2010), TechnoLogos: the Social Effects of Bio- and Information Technologies (ed., with Tatyana Shchyttsova, special volume of journal Topos, 2014). She is an editor-in-chief of a book series in Visual and Cultural Studies (published with EHU Press, Vilnius). Her articles have been published in Russian, English, German, French, Italian, Lithuanian,  Polish and Belarusian. Currently she is working on the book project Fluid Publicness.

    As an art curator, she realized several projects: Museum (2011) and Not Looking at Anything (2014, monographic exhibitions of Ruslan Vashkevich (Belarus), 24hSolaris (audiovisual installation with Ales Tsurko, Natalia Nenanorokomova and Ales Potapenko(2014), Roland Barthes: Keywords (2015), Artes Liberales (art and educational festival in Minsk, since 2012) and others.

    Tid och plats

    När: tisdag 12 september kl. 13:00-14:30

    Vad: högre seminarium

    Var: Room MA 796, CBEES, Södertörn University

    Arrangeras av: The Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES), Södertörn University

    Evenemangsspråk: engelska