Making visible and amplifying new, previously marginalized cinematic languages and voices from Central and Eastern Europe and the post-Soviet space beyond dominant mainstream narratives has been one of goEast’s main tasks since 2001, the year it was created. In this respect, this year’s focus on (post-)Soviet cinema through a ‘decolonial lens’ is not entirely new. goEast takes the historical caesura represented by Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine as an opportunity to explore various aspects of the colonial and decolonial in (post-)Soviet film and its structures.
There will be discussions, as specific as exemplary, about Ukrainian cinema of the past and future; the traces of the imperial in ‘non-Russian Russia’, in Sakha or in the North Caucasus (where the ‘cinema of the regions’ reveals the contradictions between resistance potential and appropriation by Moscow’s soft diplomacy strategies), the cinematic and film cultural heritage of the USSR – from Kyiv and Riga to Yerevan and back to Wiesbaden – as well as the debate about how to deal with canon and classics; the question of who owns the rights and copies of Soviet films of non-Russian production; Belarusian film culture, film and human rights activism in post-Soviet Central Asia; documentary cinema as a site for reflection on what Soviet and post-Soviet has meant and can mean today. In view of the multi-layered nature of the topic, goEast will focus on discussion formats instead of individual contributions by a few experts, allowing for the participation of many speakers and an open discussion of very disparate topics as well as the essential questions.
Over 3.5 days, goEast will explore various aspects of decolonization with film scholars and filmmakers from the post-Soviet space in lectures, panels and an accompanying film program. Professional visitors are welcome to attend the events at the Museum Wiesbaden and the screenings at the Murnau-Filmtheater.
An accompanying special issue of Apparatus Journal will also be published in the fall of 2023. The lectures and panels will be recorded and made available online by our partner Klassiki starting May 2nd, 2023.
Curated by Barbara Wurm and Heleen Gerritsen