Mudam announces The Radio Disaster Series: Colonialism in camouflage, a public programme co-curated by the collective Beyond the post-soviet and Mudam. This second edition of The Radio Disaster Series will be devoted to decolonial thinking and how it can be used to critically reflect on and resist the insidiousness of imperialist and colonial rhetoric and practices across Europe and in post-colonial territories.

Chapter I: Imperial violence and occupation in (post-)Soviet territories and beyond

Commissioned by Mudam and curated by Beyond the post-soviet, the first chapter is a response to the urge of acknowledging continued imperial violence in Central Eastern Europe, the Baltic States, the Caucasus, Central Asia and beyond, as well as their long-term repercussions on societies and their expression in visual arts. Beginning in November 2022, Colonialism in camouflage will unfold in a series of offline and online events: a lecture by Epp Annus, a listening session, a close reading of an artwork from the Mudam Collection and workshops for adults and children.The programme borrows its title from Soviet Postcolonial Studies: A View from the Western Borderlands (2018), a book by literary scholar and writer Epp Annus, who uses the expression ‘colonialism in camouflage’ to highlight diverse strategies of Soviet domination that she considers to be disguised forms of colonialism. Deployed in multiple regions, these strategies entailed territorial occupations, deportations, genocides, man-made famines, repression of local cultures and imaginaries and a conscious eroding of cultural memory. The title also refers to a long history of military violence in these regions, wherein the recent Russian military offensive in Ukraine is not an isolated event but the result of ongoing imperial-colonial strategies and mindset.

Opening Lecture

Colonialism in camouflage and the subaltern who speaks: politics and resistance under Russian rule by Dr. Epp Annus | 06.11.22 | 15h00

Colonialism in all its forms is a global phenomenon that shaped – and continues to shape – policies and practices not only in Asia, Africa and the Americas, but also on the Eurasian continent. Colonial legacies and deep-rooted injustice still determine both human and nonhuman ways of living on our planet. This talk will address the history and legacy of the Russian empire and the Soviet Union from a postcolonial perspective, relying on case studies from the Baltic region and Ukraine. It will be followed by a discussion between Epp Annus, Beyond the post-soviet and the audience.

Listening session

‘Are we post-colonial?’ | 04.12.22 | 14h00

In a contribution to a series of articles entitled ‘Are we post-colonial? Post-Soviet space’, renowned literary theorist, postcolonial and feminist scholar Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak asks teachers of Slavic and Eastern European literature ‘Are you post-colonial?’ (2005). The deep-rooted physical, economic and cultural violence of any colonial project, including that first perpetrated by the imperialist Russia, the Soviet Union and now the contemporary Russian state, is carried into individual and collective stories. In line with Spivak’s thought, the listening session is imagined in close dialogue with curator and thinker Vasyl Cherepanyn, artist Lia Dostlieva, artist and curator Tatiana Fiodorova, philosopher Renata Salecl as a space for sharing knowledge of various forms of occupation – political, territorial, cultural, ideological –, and for rethinking frameworks for such an exchange. The audiences are invited for attentive listening, while at the end of the session, an informal assembly will be held in the auditorium of Mudam without microphones.

more information on