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“Visegrad Scholarship at OSA” presentations

Photo: Dániel Végel / Blinken OSA
Wednesday, July 27, 2022, 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Visegrad Scholarship at OSA” presentations at 2.00 pm on Wednesday, July 27, 2022 held in person and online by Izabela Morska entitled

The Balkans: an ongoing clash between modernity and national myths

This presentation is the study of discourse and its impact on individual choices and the fate of communities. Professor Morska became interested in the topic of hate speech when observing the revival of specific narrative dynamics targeting minority groups: primarily refugees and LGBT+ communities, in addition to condoning anti-Semitism within the scope of nationalist attitudes in Poland since 2015. Hence this project searches for analogies: in this case, focusing on several themes in the Balkan wars; in particular: labeling the enemy as undeserving of consideration (the enemy labeled as fascist, the worst possible ideology), insisting on one's innocence, sanctifying one's own actions (often with the help of the relevant church), and metaphorically assigning the enemy to the realm of evil. Occurring at the level of state propaganda, all these measures establish the background for subsequent violence. Solidarity with the persecuted lies in preventive measures: identifying such narratives before they become embedded in people's minds and national mythology.


by Maria Kardash entitled

Dancing Behind the Curtain: Dance Politics in the USSR in the Early Cold War

Since the beginning of the East-West Cold War confrontation, the USSR regime attempted to orchestrate and control the population’s daily cultural practices as well as shield their citizens from any unwanted influence from the West. Dance, both as an art form and a leisure activity, was not an exception from becoming a tool of the omnipresent Soviet ideology. However, even despite the measures, western ‘extravagant’ dances and music infiltrated through the Iron Curtain and spurred the interest among citizens and local youth especially (ironically, largely thanks to imposed restrictions).

This research project aims to bring light to dance practices as the area often neglected in social and historical studies. Using the Open Society Archives materials, it examines the USSR dance landscape of the 1950- 60s where both Soviet ideologies and Western cultural trends co-existed on different levels: the level of official cultural propaganda in staged dance performances and the level of the population's actual choices in dance clubs and private events. This study also reflects on the issues of minorities’ representation in Soviet staged performances (Ukrainians in particular) and contributes to the wider scholarship on Soviet Body Politics and its present-day legacy in Central and Eastern Europe.

The presentation will be held in person at CEU’s Room 302 in N13 and online.

The Zoom link of the meeting is: