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WS: The Vocabulary of Resistance: Epistemic and Political Virtue of Decolonial Optics in Visual Studies


Apr 19, 2024 from 10:00 to 02:00 (Europe/Berlin / UTC200)


GCSC (SR 109)

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The workshop focuses on analyzing the conceptual grounds and theoretical vocabulary of decolonial thought. In the first part, we will discuss what we mean by ‘decolonizing’ and what decolonizing means for us (under those circumstances and contexts in which we live). Several basic concepts (strategies) will be considered: delinking, diversality, grand narrative as a dominant paradigm of ‘now’, multivocality and multilinguality. In the second part, regarding the decolonizing of visual culture, I propose to consider iconoclasm, defamiliarization, cultural recoding and irony as the primary and strategic tools of decolonizing visual language that are of crucial importance for re-shaping the political imaginary in a particular historical context. Although I draw upon some concrete examples of the decolonial praxis from ex-Soviet space, the discussion space opens up any perspective that allows us to exchange our cultural experiences and knowledge.


Danah Abdulla, Teresa Cisneros, Andrea Francke, Lolita Jablonskiene, Ieva Mazuraite-Novickiene, 

Achille Mbembe, Almira Ousmanova, Ieva Pleikiene, Marquard Smith, and Michelle Williams Gamaker. Decolonizing: The Curriculum, the Museum, and the Mind. Vilnius; National Art Academy, 2020.  (

Mignolo, Walter D. “Delinking”, Cultural Studies, 21/2, 2007: 449 – 514. 

Moore, David Chioni. “Is the Post- in Postcolonial the Post- in Post-Soviet? Toward a Global Postcolonial 

Critique.” PMLA 116, no. 1 (2001):111–28. 

Oushakine, Sergei Alex. “How to Grow Out of Nothing: The Afterlife of National Rebirth in Postcolonial 

Belarus,” Qui Parle, 26, no. 2, 2017: 423–90.

Tlostanova, Madina. “The postcolonial condition, the decolonial option and the post-socialist 

intervention”.  Postcolonialism Cross-Examined, 2019: 165-17.


// Prof. Dr. Almira Ousmanova (European Humanities University) is a philosopher, cultural theorist and gender scholar. She is professor at the Department of Social Sciences and Head of the Laboratory for Studies of Visual Culture and Contemporary Art at the European Humanities University (Vilnius, Lithuania). Her research interests include visual culture studies, gender representations in visual arts, film theory, art and politics. She is an author of 'Umberto Eco: Paradoxes of Interpretation' (2000);  and editor of  several collective volumes: 'Anthology of Gender Theory' (ed., with Elena Gapova, 2000); 'Gender Histories from Eastern Europe' (co-edited with Elena Gapova  and Andrea Peto), 'Gender and Transgression in Visual Arts' (ed., 2007), 'Visual (as) Violence' (ed., 2008), 'Feminism and Philosophy' (ed., special volume of journal Topos, 3/2010), 'E-Effect: Digital Turn in Humanities and Social sciences' ( with Galina Orlova, Topos, 1-2/2017), 'Women and Im/material Labour' (with Antonina Stebur, Topos, 2/2023).


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