Working Group 3: Alternative Cultures
Working Group Chairs: Katalin Cseh-Varga and Rolf Werenskjold
This Working Group explores the role of the alternative groups and forums in the creation and dissemination of cultural ‘autonomy’ in the former socialist countries. Alternative cultures consisted of cultural practices, media and ideas of non-obedience, that were not always without presuppositions and that were not completely independent of state infrastructure and politics. We seek to address the genealogy of alternative culture as a point of departure.
We will also examine how the ephemerality of the alternative media products testifies to the precarious conditions of their creation and how it is reflected in an uneven archival record of different forms of alternative cultural practices. The Working Group also aims to identify alternative culture’s gate-keepers who have coined the historiography of dissent, in order to generate a novel understanding of origins, conditions and effects. The approach WG3 applies is comparative and transnational, including both the self-perception of alternative culture and the outside perspective from beyond the Iron Curtain. The three major focus areas of investigation include: social practices of gathering, locations of gathering and modes of exchange (media). The broad topics of research will range from club culture, avant-garde art, fan communities, resourceful venues, to media, such as fanzines, do-it-yourself fashion, foreign news reporting, experimental film and mail art.
- Conference report: East European Dissent between Agenda & Legacy
- Workshop "Dissenting forms of animation and film in socialist Europe 1945–1989"
- East European Dissent between Agenda & Legacy
- MC Meeting: European University of Tirana (UET) (May 30-31, 2019)
- Summer Training School in Digital History: Cultures of Dissent in Eastern Europe (1945-1989)
- Joint Working Group Meeting: Budapest
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- New article «Cold War Books: George Minden and His Field Workers, 1973-1990» by Paweł Sowiński
- Conference "Underground and Lifeworld: Late Soviet Unofficial Culture as a Socio-Aesthetic Phenomenon"
- CFP: Artpool 40 -- Active Archives and Art Networks (Feb 20-21, 2020, Budapest)
- CFP: BASEEES Annual Conference 2020 (3-5 April, 2020, Cambridge, UK)
- NEP4DISSENT Joint Review Report Published!!
- CFP: Summer School Communicating Difficult Pasts in Kuldīga, 2–7 August 2019
- CFP: NIHIL OBSTAT: Reading and Circulation of Texts After Censorship (NYU in Prague, 17-19 October)
- Conference and Spring School: Comparative Media Systems -- 100 Years of Media Systems in Southeast Europe
- CfP: CBEES Annual Conference 2019: Central and Eastern Europe 1989-2019: Orders and Freedoms (Stockholm, 7-8 November)
- New book: Podziemne dziennikarstwo (Underground Journalism)
- CfP: WHY (NOT)? THINKING EASTERN EUROPE DIGITALLY (Sep 30-Oct 1, Marburg, Germany)
- Book Launch: Zsófia Lóránd's The Feminist Challenge to the Socialist State in Yugoslavia (Palgrave, 2018)
- New Encyclopedia: Český literární samizdat 1949–1989
- New Book: Media and the Cold War in the 1980s (eds. Bastiansen, Klimke, and Werenskjold)
- Remembering Activism: vacancies for 3 PhD and 2 post-doc researchers
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