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Subversive Dramaturgies: Protesting the Illiberal State

Friday, May 8, 2020

The European Studies Council and the Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies Program at Yale present the webinar on “Subversive Dramaturgies: Protesting the Illiberal State” featuring REEES Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow Dr. Aniko Szucs. Webinar hosted by Douglas Rogers, Professor of Anthropology, and Faculty Director of the Russian, East European, & Eurasian Studies Program at Yale

Description: The rise of right-wing authoritarian governments has been a global phenomenon over the past decade, but Central and East Europe have been hit particularly hard by this new wave of extremism. While some protest movements, such as the North Macedonian Colorful Revolution or the Polish Women on Strike succeeded in mobilizing large groups of people and forcing governments to withdraw from—or at least halt—their anti-democratic actions, others, such as the Hungarian Two-Tailed Party, with its subversive protest-performances, remained at the level of subcultural grassroots organizing with little political influence. In this talk, I will analyze the strategies and performative interventions with which activists and artists contest the oppressive populist ideology and offer an alternative vision and a new sense of community. The protest-performances I examine may differ in scale, but they are all similar in their social commitments: through their subversive actions they both express political dissent and stage acts of radical care towards those who are disenfranchised by the populist state.

Dr. Aniko Szucs is the Postdoctoral Associate and Lecturer in the program in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies at Yale University. She received her Ph.D. in Performance Studies at New York University, and currently she is working on her manuscript, Contagious Files: The Cultural Memory of State Surveillance in Hungary. Her research interests include Eastern European political theatre, protest movements and performances, and both genealogy and critique of state surveillance.