Working Group 2: Culture in the Grey Zone
Working Group Chairs: Zsófia Lóránd and Jan Mervart
The activities of this Working Group are informed by an understanding of resistance as an act of negotiated autonomy and are aimed at exploring the ambiguous realm between the official culture of former socialist countries on the one hand, and openly dissenting cultural activities on the other. We examine the dilemmas of members of academic and artistic communities who, without engaging in open dissent, cultivated ties to both organized opposition and transnational scientific and artistic networks, and often played a mediating role in introducing subversive, often Western ideas, trends and theories to the arts, humanities and social sciences as well as to everyday cultural practices.
This research will enable a better understanding of the double roles played by these individuals and groups, namely those of simultaneously legitimizing and subverting official culture and engaging in East-West dialogue. We will take into consideration the circumstances affecting life choices of the grey zone artists and scholars such as the existence of organized cultural opposition outside the official realm, degree of dependence of such professions on state patronage, the degree of cultural isolation from the West or relationships to Western institutions promoting cultural freedom. In the process of exploring how the grey zones and the actors within the grey zones operate, we are also interested in the changing and highly-context dependent concept of the grey zone itself.
- New Encyclopedia: Český literární samizdat 1949–1989
- New Book: Media and the Cold War in the 1980s (eds. Bastiansen, Klimke, and Werenskjold)
- CFP: Media Control as a Source of Political Power in Central and Eastern Europe, September 2019, Helsinki
- Remembering Activism: vacancies for 3 PhD and 2 post-doc researchers