Collective Dreaming at the Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow
A few years ago, when studying postcolonial theory and reading sociologist and cultural studies scholar Paul Gilroy, I asked my professor if we could apply 'postcolonial melancholy' – the phenomenon Gilroy described in a book with the corresponding name – to the former Soviet states. "That is a good question," he said.
Although I did not hear the answer then and am yet to find it myself (without denying the possibility that there is none), the coloniality in the post-Soviet space has been present in my conversations for the past few years, both before the Russian invasion of Ukraine and even more so with its current – and endless – manifestations. In particular, it has been the gaps in the colonial discourse and representation that the post-Soviet world (including the Baltic States, trans-Caucasian region, and Central Asia) has suffered in the West, the struggles in reclaiming its identity and narrative described so comprehensively by Madina Tlostanova in What Does It Mean to Be Post-Soviet?: Decolonial Art from the Ruins of the Soviet Empire.
These gaps have also been the driving force behind Collective Dreaming, the three-part screening and research programme at the Centre for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow that brought together Scottish, Ukrainian and Lithuanian moving images and ideas to explore and emphasise this fight for collective liberation; both now and throughout history.
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