Past and Present Witnesses for Political Dissent in Belarus — Unofficial and Official Monuments in Dialogue

Research Seminar

  • Event on-site and online
  • Datum: 09.11.2022
  • Uhrzeit: 16:00 - 18:00
  • Vortragende(r): Iryna Herasimovich, Artur Klinaŭ, Antonina Slobodchikova, Mikhail Gulin
  • Ort: Villino Stroganoff, Via Gregoriana 22, 00187 Rom
  • Kontakt:
Past and Present Witnesses for Political Dissent in Belarus — Unofficial and Official Monuments in Dialogue
The research seminar is dedicated to public monuments and the way they reflect and construct historical narratives. Its focus lies on the case study of Belarus, where contemporary artists engage with official monumental sculpture through critical interventions.

Public space in Belarus is dominated by monuments that represent the official history. Its most important aspects are the Great Patriotic War and the Soviet victory. The three invited artists all reclaim space in different ways. They narrate alternative histories or critique the official narrative through the construction of ephemeral or performative monuments. These can be very brief moments taking place in urban or rural surroundings. The ephemeral materials or temporal media used are a reaction to the impossibility of claiming public space and a deliberate aesthetic decision to counter the (relative) durability of the official narrative represented through bronze and stone sculptures. The event also reflects on the rich history of the dialogue between official and often contested unofficial monuments in Belarus throughout the twentieth century.

Iryna Herasimovich was born in Minsk in 1978 and has been a freelance translator and essayist since 2009. She has translated works by Lukas Bärfuss, Georg Büchner, Franz Kafka and many other German-speaking authors into Belarusian. She also works as a dramaturge and curator in the field of visual arts, and is a member of the German Academy for Language and Poetry. Since 2021 she has been at the Slavic Seminar at the University of Zurich.

Artur Klinaŭ (born 1965) is a writer, artist, architect, editor of "pARTisan", the magazine about contemporary Belarusian culture, and founder of the artists' village Kaptaruny.

His most important books include: "Minsk. Sun City of Dreams" (Suhrkamp 2006), "Šklatara" (Lohvinau 2013; tr. Waste glass), "Shalom" (Fototapeta 2015), "Eight Days of Revolution" (Suhrkamp 2021). Currently living in Gießen as a scholarship holder of the German PEN Centre.

Antonina Slobodchikova (born in 1979 in Minsk). As an artist she works with different media (painting, graphics, installation, video) on themes such as motherhood, identity and gender in the context of feminist practices, as well as death, memory, time archiving, subordination and power in different aspects: as personal experience, social stereotypes, social history.

Mikhail Gulin (born 1979 in Gomel) is an award-winning painter and sculptor from Belarus whose works have been exhibited nationally and in Russia, Poland, Lithuania and the Netherlands. His compositions focus on two main themes: the search for personality and art history. Gulin chooses the materials and techniques for a composition based on his concept.

Participation online possible via Zoom following this link:

Scientific Organization: Seraina Renz

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