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  • Do
    08
    Dec.
    2022

    The reactivation of the Georgian - Abkhaz de facto border in the context of Russia's war in Ukraine: An ethnographic study of the shifting social dynamics in the borderland

    18:00Campus Boekentoren, Blandijnberg 2, Lokaal 1.16
    SEELECTS

    Gaëlle Le Pavic (United Nations University | Universiteit Gent)

    Abstract

    In 1993 Abkhazia parted from Georgia, only gaining very limited recognition from Russia together with Nicaragua, Venezuela and Nauru in 2008. Since then, the borderization of the Georgian – Abkhaz borderland spanning over the district of Gal(i) on the Abkhaz controlled-side and the district of Zugdidi on the Georgian controlled-side, has only increased. This process of borderization has a significant impact on the daily lives of people living in the borderland, in particular in their access to social services. Russia’s war in Ukraine is currently reactivating the Abkhaz – Georgian de facto border with important social consequences for people living on both sides, especially for those inhabiting the borderland. Based on a qualitative methodology encompassing (online) interviews, (visual) ethnography and observations in multiple sites along the de facto border, this presentation aims to analyse the social consequences of the de facto Abkhaz-Georgian border in the context of Russia’s war in Ukraine. The results show that the crossing of the de facto border is tightening, impacting in particular the inhabitants of the Gal(i) district, whose majority is Migrelian, an ethnic Georgian subgroup. While many Russians are arriving in Georgia, mainly to escape the (partial) mobilization, many Georgians are empathizing with Ukrainians, remembering the Russo-Georgian 2008 war and the Abkhazian-Georgian war of 1992-1993. Last but not least, the Abkhaz majority is not supporting  Russia’s war in Ukraine and is trying to contain Russia’s clout in Abkhazia, while rejecting the Georgian rhetoric of Abkhazia being occupied by Russia.

    Biografie

    Gaëlle is a PhD student at the United Nations University (UNU-CRIS) and the University of Ghent in Belgium. Her research topic focuses on access to social services in situations of regional separatism. Her research studies the role of civil society organisations in facilitating this access within and across borders without (full) legal recognition, or de facto borders. The two cases she studies are Abkhazia and Transnistria, two de facto states that seceded respectively from Georgia and Moldova in the 1990s. Gaëlle is also an active member of the Centre for the Social Study of Migration and Refugees (CESSMIR).

    Previously, Gaëlle worked as a researcher at the Department of Social Work and Social Pedagogy at Ghent University. She was involved in two Horizon 2020 research projects: RefugeeWellSchool, which aims to improve the well-being of refugees in schools, and InHere, which stands for inclusive holistic care for refugees and migrant victims of sexual violence in Belgium, Ireland and the UK. In recent years, Gaëlle was project manager at the Development Office of the College of Europe (Bruges) and, before that, at the French Embassy in Croatia.

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  • Do
    15
    Dec.
    2022

    Srbenka

    19:30Campus Boekentoren, Plateau complex, Plateauzaal
    Slavische films

    Kroatië, 2018 – Nebojša Slijepčević

    Tijdens de Joegoslavische oorlogen wordt in Zagreb een Servisch tienermeisje vermoord. Een kwarteeuw later kiest een Kroatische theaterregisseur ervoor een toneelstuk over deze etnische moord te maken. De repetities maken bijzonder veel los bij iedereen die meewerkt en in het bijzonder bij de twaalfjarige Nina: zij vertelt dat ze in huilen uitbarstte toen ze ontdekte dat ze niet van Kroatische, maar Servische afkomst is (een "srbenka"). De wreedheden van de Joegoslavische oorlogen vonden al meer dan twintig jaar geleden plaats, maar blijven het leven mee bepalen, zelfs dat van jonge kinderen die zelf niets met de wrede oorlogen te maken hadden en hebben. Ze worden zich al heel vroeg bewust van hun etniciteit en proberen hun afkomst te verbergen. Deze confronterende documentaire won de prijs voor Beste documentaire op de filmfestivals van Sarajevo (2017) en Cannes (2018) .

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  • Do
    09
    Mar
    2023

    Angry Young Men vs. Modest Provincials? Reimagining the Dissident Writer in Russian Cinema

    18:00Campus Boekentoren, Blandijnberg 2, Lokaal 6.60
    SEELECTS

    Otto Boele (Universiteit Leiden)

    Abstract

    This paper explores the figure of the dissident-writer in recent Russian cinema and TV drama, specifically the way in which these productions appropriate and (de-)construct mythologies of the shestidesiatniki (“men/women of the 1960s) making them subservient to current narratives on protest and political dissent in late-Putinist Russia (post 2012). The purpose is to show that by “domesticating” some of these former dissidents or otherwise ostracized authors (while excluding others), these films and TV series reimagine the 1960s as a seemingly romantic, but essentially anomalous time in which the literary forces of the Russian heartland (Aleksandr Vampilov, Nikolai Rubtsov) were undeservedly marginalized by the noisy avant-gardists in the capitals (Akhmadulina, Yevtushnko, Voznesensky). Focusing primarily on  Tainstvennaia strast’ (Furman, 2016), a Channel One production based on Vasily  Aksenov’s last novel, and Oblepikhovoe leto (Alfiorov, 2018), a biopic on the career of Aleksandr Vampilov, I hope to demonstrate how one of the most liberal periods of Russia’s twentieth-century history is being cinematically exploited for the purpose of alerting the viewer about “similar” phenomena in the present (“latte-sipping hipsters” in Moscow vs. the “glubinnyi  narod”, “Gayropa vs. “traditional values”etc.).

    Biografie

    Otto Boele obtained his MA degree in Russian at the University of Amsterdam and his PhD at the University of Groningen. He is now Associate Professor of Russian literature at the University of Leiden. He is the author of The North in Russian Romantic Literature (1996), Erotic Nihilism in Late Imperial Russia. The Case of Mikhail Artsybashev’s “Sanin” (2009) and a co-editor of Post-Soviet Nostalgia. Confronting the Empire’s Legacies (2019). Recently, he has published a number of articles on glasnost  cinema and the collective memory of the 1990s.

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