Listening and Hearing: in conversation with Beyond the post-soviet
Beyond the post-soviet
On 24th February 2022, postcolonialisms in Eastern Europe came to the surface again, symptomatic of the ongoing Russian imperialism in the region. The brutal invasion convened much discussion about the postsocialist condition, cultural sovereignty and the necessity of labouring together to find the possibilities of good living (buen vivir). These conversations were not new, but people began to listen. We want to honour the labour of those who have come before us, whilst drawing attention to the position of Eastern Europe in-between the Global North and South.
The Global North-South divide originated at the start of the Cold War in 1945, when the USA became the primary reference point on maps. After the Bandung conference in 1955, the South-South collaboration between Africa and Asia was established. This was a way to divert the vertical North-South relation, and foster solidarities between continents that experienced Western colonialism.
How can we think about regions affected by non-Western colonialisms? A step towards it is a term Global East offered to complicate the North-South binary and look into other than Western colonialisms. Although Global East can be understood as the post-soviet space, the scope of the regions encompassed within this term is fluid. Yet to think with the Global East is not only to look at localities. It is also about untangling the hierarchies of transnational knowledge production and acknowledging the corrosive currents of extractivism pertaining to almost every aspect of the everyday. Thus, in this context, building extensive solidarities within and beyond the Global East could help to sustain livelihoods with community and environment at the heart.
In this conversation, members of the Beyond the post-soviet collective share their approaches and practices towards decolonising the post-soviet space, working from distance yet together, challenging academic discourses and knowledge production, as well as embracing hybridity, different opinions, and mistakes.
Thanks to Yulia, Sasha, Faina, Tatiana and Zola for their contributions.
Collective Dreaming is a three-part screening and research programme that weaves together Scottish, Ukrainian and Lithuanian moving images and thoughts in search of connection and collective liberation curated by Julija Šilytė & Milda Valiulytė.