During her non-residential fellowship, Anastasiia Platonova is developing a cooperation project that seeks to rethink inequalities in knowledge that privilege certain perceived centers, such as Russia, and silence perceived peripheries such as Ukraine. This rethinking has already begun to take place in conferences, cultural collaborations, and teaching. But the war in Ukraine has made rethinking Eastern Europe on a more public scale even more acute. How can we shape public understanding of Ukraine?
Focusing on the historical, social and cultural context of Russia’s war against Ukraine, the first series of texts planned for the Unwinding Empire project highlights the history of culture on the territory of contemporary Ukraine. This region is diverse and dynamic, and it provides stories of the arts and of social transformations that can create windows into Eastern Europe, offering a better understanding of what is at stake with Russia’s invasion. From avantgarde art to modernist architectural gems, from the experiences and memories of the Second World War to exploring global diasporic communities tracing their family stories to this land: the authors want to show a Ukraine that goes beyond ordinary news coverage.
The second series focuses on contemporary culture in Russia and its global reach, following Edward W. Said’s notion that, “[t]he power to narrate, or to block other narratives from forming and emerging, is very important to culture and imperialism”. For too long “Russian” culture has — in Said’s term — orientalized Ukraine. Texts in this series will delve deep into these long-held narratives as articulated in recent examples of art, music, film, and literature, which are deeply connected to the ongoing war in Ukraine. Ultimately, the project seeks to present a post-colonial stance on Russian culture.
Daria Badior, Culture Journalist and Critic
Sofia Dyak, Historian
Mayhill C. Fowler, Historian
Anastasiia Platonova, Culture Journalist and Critic
In cooperation with the Center for Urban History in Lviv