Models and Practices of Cold War Cultural Exchange: Stories from the Eastern side of the Iron Curtain

Research workshop
20 April 2022, 14:00–17:30 (on Zoom)

As part of a research project on Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) culture, entitled Models and Practices of Global Cultural Exchange and Non-aligned Movement: Research in the Spatio-Temporal Cultural Dynamic, we focus on models of cultural exchange among the Non-Aligned Movement member countries since the early 1960s. The research is conducted by the University of Ljubljana Academy of Fine Arts and Design and the Institute of Art History in Zagreb.

The accelerated process of decolonisation in the 1960s, which articulated the cultural needs and policies of the countries of the Non-Aligned Movement, created new institutional mechanisms and new models/practices of cultural exchange that led to a radical change within the NAM in the global cultural and artistic field.

Through our multidisciplinary approach, we seek to define the culture of the Non-Aligned Movement about different and intersecting temporalities and spaces. The discussed critical/theoretical and socio-geopolitical interactions that came to the fore within the Non-Aligned Movement are addressed from the opening of different pathways from the Non-Aligned Movement: strategies for negotiating the permeability of ideological and political boundaries to reposition national and regional cultural identities and see the Non-Aligned Movement as an overlooked space of potential theories of emancipation: Critique of the Institutional Perspective of the Bipolar World in the Cold War Era.

For this reason, one of our goals is to learn more about the art connections of the countries on the eastern side of the Iron Curtain with the countries of the Non-Aligned Movement and the so-called Global South in general.

Based on their profound knowledge of this topic, we have invited Wiktor Komorowski, Katarina Lopatkina, Simo Mikkonen, and Olga Nefedova to a research workshop that will take place on 20 April on Zoom. They will present their research on cultural diplomacy, Soviet cultural policy, cultural exchange, relations, and international artist contacts in the USSR.

The workshop is prepared and will be moderated by Asst. Prof. Dr. Petja Grafenauer and Tch. Asst. Dr. Daša Tepina.

The research workshop and methodological discussion is the result of the research project J7-2606 ‘Models and Practices of Global Cultural Exchange and Non-aligned Movement: Research in the Spatio-Temporal Cultural Dynamics’, which is funded by the Slovenian Research Agency and Croatian Science Foundation.