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Reflecting on MERCZbau: Art and Human Rights in Ukraine

10.06.2022 07:00 PM

Event Summary

Photo by Abel Arciniega

How have Orientalist ideas shaped scholarship, culture, and power dynamics within the Slavic world? In what ways have Orientalist and anti-imperialist discourses responded to geopolitical shifts and population transfers across the borderlands of Eastern Europe? More urgently, how should we revise our understanding of East/West divides in light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine? These questions lie at the heart of Slavs and Tatars’ exhibition at the Neubauer Collegium, MERCZbau. Participants at this panel gathered to consider the lost history of multinational coexistence in Lviv that is projected into an imagined/counterfactual present by the exhibition. They also explored the shifting meanings of the “East” at a moment when globalization and humanitarian crisis make it impossible to disentangle East and West – or art and politics.

This panel discussion was jointly organized by the Neubauer Collegium and the Pozen Family Center for Human Rights at the University of Chicago.


Boriša Falatar


Head of Kyiv Office, 2020–2022, OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine

Leah Feldman


Associate Professor of Comparative Literature, University of Chicago

Markian Prokopovych


Associate Professor of Modern European Cultural History, Durham University

Dieter Roelstraete


Curator, Neubauer Collegium

Tara Zahra


Roman Family Director, Neubauer Collegium