LECTURE Saltanat Shoshanova , graduate student of the Faculty of Art History, Free University of Berlin.

Queer identity in contemporary art of Kazakhstan

04/16/2019

ARTCOM Platform gave a lecture " Queer Identity in Contemporary Art of Kazakhstan" Saltanat Shoshanova - Master's student at the Faculty of Art History, Free University of Berlin.

 

"The last decade, the cultural and ideological confrontation between the conventional West / Europe and the East has been reflected in the national, gender and sexual policies of various countries. (Homo) -sequeness in a narrow sense, and queerness in a broad sense have become a national marker that determines either backwardness or tolerance of one or the other another country.

On the one hand, Western / European hegemony declares tolerance and the liberal model as the only true and universal, thereby constructing post-socialist and post-Soviet countries as “backward”, still in the “process of transition” and forever stuck in post-communism ...

On the other hand, queer is opposed to the “traditional” Kazakh (Russian, etc.) identity, which is supported by a new national idea created after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Thus, queer citizens are declared “foreigners” within the country, homosexuality becomes an alien, western feature, and Europe turns into Geyropa.

Is there a possibility to overcome the established dichotomy between nationality and (homo) sexuality?

Ikusstvo gives us the answer to this question. Contemporary artists in Kazakhstan use various practices and strategies to assert the existence of a queer identity and to rethink discourse imposed from above. With my lecture, I invite you to speculate where Geyropa came from and who really needs her, as well as get in touch with modern art of Kazakhstan, touching upon the topic of queer identity.

Saltanat Shoshanova is currently completing her MA in Art History at the Free University of Berlin. Her research interests include feminist and queer art in Islamic societies and the post-Soviet space. She is also an activist and has co-organized several queer feminist conferences in Vienna and Berlin.

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