Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society Organization Logo Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society


Artist Talk With Rufina Bazlova: International Belarusian Ornament

10.26.2023 06:00 PM

Event Summary

As the inaugural event of the three-year project Costumes and Collapse, the Neubauer Collegium welcomed Belarusian artist Rufina Bazlova. Bazlova uses traditional folk Belarusian embroidery as a medium to depict socio-political issues. In 2020, she gained an international profile for her series The History of Belarusian Vyzhyvanka. Bazlova is a coauthor of the installation The Red Thread in Aachen, dedicated to the three Belarusian female opposition leaders who won the Charlemagne prize in 2022. Currently as a member of Stitchit art group (in collaboration with curator Sofia Tocar), Bazlova works on #Framed in Belarus, a social art project sponsored by EU4Culture that invites people from all over the world to stitch stories of political prisoners in Belarus. The conversation focused on #Framed in Belarus and Bazlova's interest in the history of Belarusian embroidery that has informed the project.

This event was co-sponsored by the Department of Comparative Literature, the Pozen Center for Human Rights, the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, and the Center for Gender and Sexuality at the University of Chicago. It was presented in partnership with the Hyde Park Art Center, where Bazlova is a visiting artist in residence (October 10 – November 17) as part of an ongoing partnership between the Hyde Park Art Center and CEC ArtsLink’s acclaimed international fellowship program.


Costumes and Collapse is a three-year project led by University of Chicago Comparative Literature professors Leah Feldman and Hoda El Shakry in collaboration with the Berlin-based artist collective Slavs and Tatars that includes a series of reading groups, lectures, performances, and exhibitions across Chicago, Berlin, Tbilisi, and Paris. The project explores wearable art, textiles, and costuming practices against the backdrop of imperial, social, and ecological collapse.

Photo by Max Herman.