Revising the Notion of Contemporary Eastern Europe

Panel talk organised by ICKPA and RSO.Berlin

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Revising the notion of contemporary Eastern Europe: The place, role, and challenges of (semi)peripheral politics.


This panel seeks to organically align itself with the first session, while turning the focus of the discussion towards reconstructing the notion of Europe (Europeanness), relying on the diverse and reinvigorating Eastern European experience – which is far more than the shallow, exoticising, and
uniform image of the so-called post-Soviet condition. To reconstruct the notion of Europe, from the cognitive and cultural perspective, we propose to place
the Eastern European experience in the centre, to further amplify the ways in which its scholarship and practice are redefining the elusive notion of Europe. The panellists will offer ‘actually useful’ tools (stemming from critical approaches) that enable a thorough understanding of the ‘dual dependency’ that shapes the continent and forces its Eastern part into a constant limbo of inferiority: between the post-fascist imperial warmongering of Russia and the neoliberal imperial developmentalism of the North-Atlantic West. We believe that only a decolonial method will enable us to move beyond exoticisation, self-colonising, and cultural inferiority.

In this light, the panel will focus on the current political and social upheavals the region has been experiencing, such as Russia's war against Ukraine and the recent introduction of the so-called foreign agent law in Georgia – the Kremlin's two major colonial attempts to exercise control over Eastern
Europe. The panelists will discuss the possibilities and processes of effective resistance stemming from these societies.


Dato Laghidze (GE) anthropologist and activist, moderator
Irine Beridze (GE) cultural researcher/writer
Mariia Vorotilina (UA) curator and activist
Gábor Erlich (HU) artist/researcher
Maria Beburia (UA) SUNFLOWER, Solidarity Cultural Centre Warsaw

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