Isabelle Kaplan's Talk "The Art of Nation-Building: Dekady of National Art in 1930s Moscow"
The talk will examine the dekady of national art [декады национального искусства], festivals first staged in the mid-1930s to highlight the cultures and artistic accomplishments of the various non-Russian republics of the Soviet Union. Organized under the aegis of the All-Union Committee on Arts Affairs [Всесоюзный комитет по делам искусств], these extravagant events brought delegations of national artists many hundreds strong from the ethnic periphery to the stage of the Bolshoi Theater, where they performed for Moscow elites. While such activities provided the presenting group an opportunity for national self-definition, they also served a Soviet agenda of narrowing difference through cultural familiarization. Focusing on the 1938 Dekada of Azerbaijani National Art as a case study, the presenter argues that the festivals, as formal sites of national self-expression as well as cross-cultural interaction, exemplified the Soviet strategy of building individual national identities and a unified Soviet multinational identity simultaneously.
The seminar will be held in English.
The seminar will take place on February 27 at 5 pm at Moscow, Staraya Basmannaya 21/4, room A-312.
We kindly ask our guests to order a pass to the building in advance at email@example.com