Bodies Perform Resistance: Protest and Performance in East Europe and Russia

Event time: 
Friday, May 6, 2022 (All day) to Saturday, May 7, 2022 (All day)
Humanities Quadrangle (HQ), 136 See map
320 York Street
New Haven, CT 06511
Event description: 

Mark your calendars for “Bodies Perform Resistance”, a two-day symposium this Friday and Saturday, May 6-7, on contemporary protest and performance in East Europe and Russia. All events will take place both in person in HQ 136 and on Zoom. If joining online, stay tuned for the link in the coming days.
Zoom meeting link:
Friday, May 6, 10:00am–12:00pm
HQ 136 and Zoom
Panel I: Bodies Perform Protest – Now?
Panelists: Aniko Szucs, Maksim Hanukai, Olia Sosnovskaya and Aleksei Borisionok, Maria Kulikowska,
Emília Rigová
In this opening roundtable, we will screen and discuss works by contemporary feminist artists: Maria
Kulikowska (Ukraine), Emília Rigová (Slovakia), and collaborators Olia Sosnovskaya and Aleksei
Borisionok (Belarus). These performances introduce the central themes of our symposium: how do we
envision feminist art and thought in the former Second World today? What role has performance played
in protest culture of recent years? How has the aesthetics of political performance evolved during the
past two decades? How can we, or should we, apply theoretical frameworks rooted in global academia,
such as decoloniality and intersectionality, to our movements and analyses? What local theoretical
frameworks that have emerged in the past decades?
Our conference has been multiply changed and transformed: by the global pandemic and now the
devastating war in Ukraine. Rather than fall silent, we hope to create a generous and productive space to
discuss (conspire and inspire) how living bodies and collectivities can continue to perform protest.
HQ 136 and Zoom
Panel II: The Long Durée of Feminist Performance
Panelists: Mary Orsak, Chiara Bonfiglioli, Marina Gržinic, Jasmina Tumbas, Liliana Zeic
Opening discussion questions:
• What defines feminist art more generally, and what defines East European and Russian feminist
art? What about the medium of performance makes it conducive to feminist interventions?
• How do we trace the genealogy(ies) of our region’s feminist performance? Does local feminist
performance and protest culture find its direct antecedents in First World (feminist) performance
or in Second World formal innovation?
• What is the relationship between various local Russian and East European traditions of feminist
• In what ways does contemporary performance borrow from earlier performance traditions? Must
contemporary audiences recognize the work’s referent to understand it? If you do not recognize
the referent, can you still understand the work?
Saturday, May 7, 10:00am–12:00pm
HQ 136 and Zoom
Panel III: Fraught Intersectionalities and the Former Second World
Panelists: Fiona Bell, Keti Chukhrov, Victoria Lomasko, Bojana Videkanic, Joanna Warsza
Opening discussion questions:
• What are the most striking examples of failed solidarities, groups at cross purposes, or nearmisses
in protest contexts? How does intra-movement conflict manifest in bodies, space, and
• In this and other panels, we consider how to define “presence.” How do we understand the
phenomena of absence and isolation in protest cultures? Following Andrew Sofer’s
metaphorization of “dark matter” for performance studies—the invisible phenomena that “distort
the visible through their gravitational effects”—how might felt absence exert a “gravitational force”
on a protest movement?
• How might we use Kimberlé Crenshaw’s formulation of intersectionality, which recognizes the
structural invisibility of certain identities within systems? Is this embodied protest context better
understood through Deborah King’s alternate concept of multiple jeopardies, which emphasizes
the complex material conditions affecting bodies? What are the problems and possibilities
attendant to applying these concepts developed by and for the Black feminist context to the East
European context? Are there theoretical interventions that the East European context enables?
HQ 136 and Zoom
Hybrid Constellations of Solidarity
Panelists: Marijeta Bozovic, Michal Murawski, Lesia Prokopenko, Sasha Razor, Mitja Velikonja