Eastsplainers #9: Film & documentary

Eastsplainers #9, Performing Arts op 28 november, van 17.00 tot 18.30 in VOXPOP Amsterdam

Public programme series by the Department of Slavic Languages and Cultures (University of Amsterdam), in cooperation with the University of New Europe, with artists and intellectuals who recently migrated or fled from Central & Eastern Europe to the Netherlands.

As the Russian war in Ukraine and imperialist Kremlin rhetoric continue to disturb world media, Eastsplainers offers a counterweight to westsplaining – the habit of looking at developments in Central & Eastern Europe through Western lenses. In this public programme series, we listen to scholars, journalists, artists, musicians, and other cultural and academic professionals who migrated or fled from Kyiv, Łódź, Minsk, and Moscow, among other places, to the Netherlands. Rather than amplifying views on various Central and Eastern European locations as a monolithic European ‘East,’ our programmes show that these locations merit independent study and careful attention to local dynamics.

In this session, we are pleased to host Aliona van der Horst, Dore van Duivenbode, and Otto Boele, who will discuss documentaries that cover historical and recent developments in Poland and the Russian Federation. Aliona van der Horst is a renowned documentary film director acclaimed for her distinctive style of poetic filmmaking. She tends to explore politically-charged collective tragedies that continue to haunt Russian society. Van der Horst’s impressive portfolio includes five films that delve into Russia's tumultuous history, with her most recent work being "Turn Your Body to the Sun" (2021) about a Tatar Soviet soldier captured by the Nazis during WW I. She will be joined by Dore van Duivenbode, who is a writer, journalist, and TV presenter. Being of Polish-Dutch descent, she is committed to raising awareness about the current challenges to press freedom in Poland. Van Duivenbode spent eight months behind the scenes of Gazeta Wyborcza, one of the last remaining independent Polish newspapers, and documented her journey in the four-part series Gazeta, de Poolse krant onder vuur (‘Gazeta, the Polish Newspaper Under Fire’).

The discussion will be moderated by Otto Boele, Senior Lecturer at Leiden University, who has extensive expertise on Contemporary Russian Literature and Russian Cinema.

To register for this session, scheduled on November 28, 5-6:30 p.m., at VOX-POP Amsterdam, please visit this registration page. For information about the other sessions, please visit the Eastsplainers webpage. The series is set up with support from the University of New Europe, Middle- and Eastern-European studies publisher Pegasus, the Amsterdam school for Cultural Analysis and the diversity and inclusion team of the UvA's Faculty of Humanities.