Panel discussion: From Stalin to Sochi

Thursday 08 May 2014, 7:00pm - 9:00 pm

Panellists include Dan Healey, Professor of Modern Russian History, Oxford University; Maria Dudko, Founder of the Moscow Experimental School of Gender Studies; Svitlana Biedarieva, PhD Researcher at the Courtauld Institute of Art. Chaired by Mark Nash.

What is behind the recent political homophobia in Putin’s Russia? What is the background that led to Russia’s new law against ‘propaganda for homosexuality’? Taking the eroticism, humour and dandyism of Club of Friends as a point of departure, the panel discussion reflects on the current political situation in Russia with a focus on gender, sexuality and censorship.

Professor Dan Healey presents an illustrated history of homophobia in Russia, from Stalin’s anti-gay laws to the international LGBT protests at the Sochi Winter Olympics. Svitlana Biedarieva discusses the subversive activities and strategies in the works of the New Artists and the New Academy, in relation to a history of underground art practices in Russia since the 1970s which have used homoerotic connotations as an alternative means of opposing the political system. Maria Dudko presents the activities of the Moscow Experimental School of Gender Studies; a self-organised educational model and grass-root initiative which aimed to support new feminist discourses in Moscow.

Organised in collaboration with the Research Forum of The Courtauld Institute of Art.