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<nettime-ann> Sat. June 17 - Live Stream: Old Curtains, New Screens - Media, Minorities and Politics in Post-Communist Europe, De Balie, Amsterdam

Old Curtains, New Screens

Media, Minorities and Politics in Post-Communist Europe

Symposium and Evening Program

De Balie - Centre for Culture and Politics, Amsterdam.

Saturday June 17, 2006.
10.00 – 22.00 hrs

Live-stream at:

The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 formally removed the separation that had divided Europe for decades. The post-Wall landscape has been quickly transformed by new forms of mediation: changing infrastructures, technologies, and aesthetic forms that range from print to mobile phone to satellite television networks. This media boom has linked the post-communist region to the circulation of Europe and the globe at large in the last fifteen years.

At the same time, new lines of separation, new curtains are also visible within policies and representations alike. We are particularly interested in how ethnic, gender, sexual, and religious minorities have been affected by the increased post-Wall attention that has been focused on them, and how they have been able to turn new media and social technologies into political and representational tools.

This symposium will bring together leading regional and national experts in the fields of broadcasting, visual art, new media activism, and film production to examine recent East and Central European media and political transformations. All panellists are involved in both the daily tasks of negotiating policy issues and in the theoretical work of understanding new identity formations that are no longer locked into national systems but are inevitably hybrid, sustained by and actively absorbing transnational affiliations. The event will be constructed as an interweaving series of engaging and informative short presentations, discussions, as well as film and video screenings.

Themes of the symposium and evening program, Saturday June 17, 2006:

Xenophobia and the Emergence of New Media Networks 17 June, 10:30 - 11:15

Tomász Kitlinski focuses on how new forms of xenophobia have accompanied the emergence of transnational gay, lesbian, and feminist media networks in Central and Eastern Europe. In the centre of his presentation is the "sexual dissident," whose coming out introduces a new voice into post-socialist literature, culture, and activism. The discourses of official media often dehumanize women and sexual minorities. Kitlinski addresses these forms of exclusion and the ways in which the groups involved try to challenge them through mobilizing new media networks.

Tomász Kitlinski is lecturer in philosophy at the Marie Curie University, Lublin, Poland. He is the author of The Stranger Is Within Us (Aureus, 2001), co-author of Love and Democracy: Reflections on the Homosexual Question in Poland (Aureus, 2005) and contributed to Our Monica, Ourselves: The Clinton Affair and the National Interest (New York University Press, 2001). He contributed to 'New Europe, Old Monsters' and other texts on international and Polish new media.

Virtual Space and Internet Media:
Self-Representations of East European Women on the Web
17 June, 11:45 - 12:30

Arturas Tereskinas analyzes the visual strategies articulated by Eastern European women in their internet personals. What issues of self-representation, gender, body and sexuality do these images raise? What representational conventions do they employ? Examining the problems of fantasy, pornography and desire, Tereskinas argues that through these images women describe and specify not only their sexualities but also their longings, insecurities, yearnings and their movement towards new possibilities. Iconography and narrative of these personals offer imaginary forms of resolution for contradictions that exist in both Eastern European cultures and women's lives.

Arturas Tereskinas is Associate Professor of Sociology at Vytauras Magnus University and Vilnius University, Lithuania. He is the author of Bodily Signs: Sexuality, Identity and Space in Lithuanian Culture (2001) and Imperfect Communities: Identity, Discourse and Nation in the Seventeenth-Century Grand Duchy of Lithuania (2005) and the editor of Public Lives, Intimate Places: Body, Publicity, and Fantasy in Contemporary Lithuania (2002) and Men and Fatherhood: New Forms of Masculinity in Europe (2005, with Jolanta Reingardiene).

The Role of European Institutions in Support of New Media:
The Case of Roma Media
17 June, 12:30 - 13:15

Valeriu Nicolae will discuss the role that European institutions and NGOs play in supporting media-related projects. He will explicitly focus on the ways in which Roma media have emerged in post-1989 Europe, and how these media have started both to challenge mass media and to function as alternative sources of information.

Valeriu Nicolae is secretary-general of ERGO, the European Roma Grassroots Organizations Network, a network of Roma organizations from Slovakia, Serbia, Moldova, Bulgaria, Romania and Albania, and an OSI fellow. From 2003 until March 2006, he was deputy director of ERIO, the European Roma Information Office in Brussels. He developed an educational project for Roma children in his hometown Craiova, Southern Romania.

Ghetto Entertainment: Mainstream media and Minority Representation 17 June, 14:15 - 15:45

Anikó Imre will address the ways in which films and television programs that explicitly deal with minority issues have become central to public debates on minorities. In a case study, Imre will present a 'close-reading' of the film Nyócker (Hungary, 2004, 90 min) by the Hungarian director Áron Gauder. Nyócker is an animation movie on the conflicts between different Hungarian minorities and the municipality in the eight district of Budapest, commonly known as the 'Roma ghetto'.

Anikó Imre is a postdoctoral fellow at the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis, University of Amsterdam. She has written extensively on East Central European film and media. She is the editor of East European Cinema (Routledge, 2005).

Governments versus Art? Art as Alternative Media Space
17 June, 16:15 - 17:00

Pawel Leszkowicz will look at the ways in which artistic representation functions as an alternative medium that counterbalances the one-dimensional gender structure of the official, often still state-supported media. The range of images of sexuality and gender projected by contemporary art might function as an opening into the hidden history of Polish subjectivity and society, supplementing and enriching the dominant media sphere.

Pawel Leszkowicz is lecturer in Contemporary Art and curator at the Department of Art History, Adam Mickiewicz University Poznan, Poland. He is the author of The Iconography of Subjectivity: Helen Chadwick (Aureus, 2001), co-author of Love and Democracy: Reflections on the Homosexual Question in Poland (Aureus, 2005) and contributed to Our Monica, Ourselves: The Clinton Affair and the National Interest (New York University Press, 2001). He contributed to Polish feminist and gay collections and magazines, and curated the art exhibition Love and Democracy.

Special Evening Program:

Timescapes by Angela Melitopoulos
17 June, 20:00 - 22:00

Timescapes is a collective video project based in South-Eastern Europe that explores collective memory in video imagery and new forms of filmic representation through the possibilities of non-linear editing via the Internet. Timescapes' basis is a database built by five video artists/activists from Cologne (Angela Melitopoulos), Berlin (Hito Steyerl), Belgrade (Dragana Zarevac), Athens (Freddy Viannelis), and Ankara (Videa: media collective) who shaped different subject matters on the theme of mobility and migration-and memories thereof-in so-called "B-Zone territories" in South-Eastern Europe and Turkey. Angela Melitopoulos will discuss and screen her contribution to Timescapes, the artistic road movie "Corridor X".

Angela Melitopoulos is a video artist from Cologne, Germany. She studied fine arts at the Academy of Arts in Düsseldorf with Nam June Paik. She has worked with electronic media since 1986 and has experimented with single-channel-tapes, video installations, video essays and documentaries. Her video essay Passing Drama (1999) has won several prizes, among which the Prize of the Council of Europe (2000). Timescapes was exhibited as part of a larger exhibition on B- Zone: Becoming Europe and Beyond at Kunstwerke Berlin earlier this year.

Film Program De Balie Cinema - 16 and 17 June
Special event

On 16 and 17 June De Balie Cinema will show the documentary The Danube Exodus by the Hungarian filmmaker Péter Forgács (A Dunai Exodus, Hungary, 1998, 60 min). Time: 20:15.

On 16 June the German film critic Jörg Taszman will interview Péter Forgács, and moderate a discussion with him and the audience.

Péter Forgács is a leading practitioner of 'found footage' filmmaking. Home movies and amateur films in particular serve as the sources from which he composes his stories. The Danube Exodus is a travelogue documenting the Jewish exodus from Slovakia just before the beginning of the Second World War. In two ships, a group of 900 Slovak and Austrian Jews try to reach the Black Sea via the Danube, and from there to go to Palestine. Forgács based his film on the amateur films made by the captain of one of the ships, Nándor Andrásovits. He filmed his passengers while they prayed, slept, and even got married. At the end of this journey, it becomes clear that the boat will not return empty: in an historical paradox, a reverse exodus takes place, this time the repatriation of Bessarabian Germans, fleeing to the Third Reich because of the Soviet invasion of Bessarabia. A fascinating personal and historical document.

Jörg Taszman grew up in East Berlin and Paris, finished the Budapest Film School in 1991 and lives in Berlin. He works as a journalist and film critic specialized in East European cinema.

Live Stream:

The program on Satruday June 17 can be followed live via:

The live webcast will later be made available in the Balie on-line archive.


Old Curtains, New Screens is organized by the NWO Research group Globalization and the Transformation of Cultural Identities in Central and Eastern Europe (Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis, University of Amsterdam), De Balie, The Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO), the Faculty of the Arts at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, and Architecturalia.

De Balie, Kleine-Gartmanplantsoen 10 (near Leidseplein), Amsterdam.

Entrée fee Symposium, 17 June: 5 euro (day progam); 5 euro (evening program); 7,50 euro (both).

Language: English.

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