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Saturday Talk @ 151 | Russian Artists – African Impressions. Beyond Curiosity. πŸ—“

Join us on Saturday 22 February 2020 for a talk with Alena Georgobiani, at 11:30 at the David Krut Bookstore & Gallery – THE BLUE HOUSE – 151 Jan Smuts Avenue, Parkwood.

How do you create a true and correct impression of something that is so far away that the Moon might be closer? Africa is such a case for Russia, and the answer is that most Russian and Soviet people in 20th century learned about Africa through art: poems, children’s books and propaganda posters. From Silver age poems to mid-century laconic posters and murals, the Russian artists tried not to stereotype the continent, but showcase the individuality. Some efforts were brilliant, some not so, from the nowadays perspective. Come to the talk and be the judge for yourself.

The Russian art scene’s drawing of inspiration by the African continent happened a few years before the Bolshevik revolution, early in 20th century. A famous poet went on an expedition in East and Central Africa and composed lyrical poems, juxtaposing the natural wonders and colonialism. But the biggest surge happened after African independence year in 1960, when Soviet Union offered unconditional assistance to many countries, building industries, educating over 450 000 students in Russia and cataloguing artistic heritage. Films, photography, paintings, songs, folk tales and poems became part of vast Soviet artistic landscape. Do they still have impact today? Let’s explore. – Alena Georgobiani

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