Alumni Lecture: Dr. Ellina Sattarova on “Aesthetics, Biopolitics, and Empire in Aleksei Fedorchenko’s Angels of Revolution”

April 14, 2023 - 5:00pm

Cathedral of Learning Room 332

The Slavic Department is pleased to share that we will be hosting our doctoral alumna, Dr. Ellina Sattarova (currently a tenure-track assistant professor at the University of Southern California), for a presentation entitled “Aesthetics, Biopolitics, and Empire in Aleksei Fedorchenko’s Angels of Revolution."

My research explores the increasing interest of contemporary Russian filmmakers in the relationship between human life and political power. In this talk, I will explore the work of Aleksei Fedorchenko and, specifically, his 2014 film Angels of the Revolution, loosely based on the story of the Kazym Cultural Base, the point of origin of the 1934 Kazym rebellion of the Khanty and Nenets people against Soviet colonization. I will discuss the ways in which the film conceptualizes the relationship between Soviet imperialism, biopolitics, and aesthetics, focusing specifically on the role that the cinematic medium plays in imperial and biopolitical violence in Fedorchenko's view. I will argue that the filmmaker posits cinema as capable of both perpetuating and destabilizing the artificial boundaries between the center and periphery, the civilizer and the exotic other, as well as the boundary-often forcefully superimposed upon the other two-between bias and zoe, meaningful political life and pure animality. 

View flyer here.