Political Biographies in Post-Socialist Eastern Europe

Image: Intervention by Ladyfest Tallinn (Minna Hint, Mari-Leen Kiipli, Pire Sova, Killu Sukmit, Anna-Stina Treumund), 2016. Photo: Eva Sepping

During her Fellowship in Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen, Tallinn-based independent curator, writer and educator Airi Triisberg researched the recent history of movement politics in Eastern Europe. She engaged with the questions: What constitutes a movement? Who is the politically active subject in post-Soviet and post-socialist societies? What are the collective forms of dissent? Which visual images are produced in the context of grass-roots politics? What are the relations of art, knowledge production and political organizing?

Through the winter of 2020, Airi Triisberg interviewed artists and political organizers who reflected on their experiences in Belarus, Estonia, Hungary and Kazakhstan. The interviews focused on the respondents’ political biographies, thus connecting personal narratives with larger political histories. In this presentation, Airi Triisberg will summarize the key findings and questions that emerged in the research process. An open conversation will follow the presentation.

This event takes place in the context of the exhibition Identity is Uncertainty #2, the concluding show of the Büchsenhausen Fellowship Program for Art and Theory 2019-20, currently on view at the Kunstpavillon of the Tyrolean Artists’ Association in Innsbruck (until 13 March 2021). In this show, Airi Triisberg is presenting her Research Diary, a collection of visual materials and texts that document and reflect upon the topics mentioned above.

Airi TRIISBERG is an independent curator, writer and educator based in Tallinn. She is interested in issues related to gender and sexualities, illness/health and dis/abilities, self-organization and collective care practices, struggles against precarious working conditions in the art field and beyond. Her practice is often located at the intersection of political education, self-organization and knowledge production. One of her ongoing research interests focuses on historical and contemporary moments when experiences of living with illness or disability have been politicized in order to express social critique. In 2015 she curated Get Well Soon!, an exhibition presenting artistic re-articulations of social imaginaries rooted in the radical movements of the 1970s. Another strand in her practice focuses on precarious labor and art workers organizing. In 2010-2012 she was an active member in the art workers movement in Tallinn. In 2015 she co-published the book Art Workers – Material Conditions and Labour Struggles in Contemporary Art Practice together with Minna Henriksson and Erik Krikortz.


Streaming on Zoom.

Link to Eventbrite.