Labor; friendships between ethnicities; and strong, unsuperficial, working women are themes inextricable from the Soviet metanarrative as depicted in photography and films from that period. Recent video and photography by artists from Russia and countries of the former Soviet Union, as well as recent popular television and film from the Russia Federation, reveal the changes in that metanarrative, including relationships to issues of labor, ethnicity, and gender that are almost entirely reversed from those valorized during the Soviet period. How might these changes reflect and influence Russian self-perception, and in turn, the perception of Russia from the world outside its borders?
Farrah Karapetian (1978 US) is an artist and public thinker based in California, who works with narratives of human agency. She holds a BA from Yale University (2000) and an MFA from the University of California at Los Angeles (2008). Her work is in multiple public collections, including the J. Paul Getty Museum and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. She has received fellowships from the Fulbright Program (Russia 2018), the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, the California Community Foundation, and the Center for Cultural Innovation. Her writing about visual and civic experience has been recognized by multiple publications and by the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant Program.
Feruza Aripova is a PhD Candidate in World History at Northeastern University and a Center Associate at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University. Currently, Feruza is a Visiting Scholar at the Harriman Institute at Columbia University. Her research primarily focuses on gender and sexual politics in the late Soviet era. She is currently working on completing her dissertation, tentatively titled "Silencing of Same-Sex Desire in the Post-Soviet Space: Deconstructing the Soviet Legacy."
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