Before you are the first and second issues of the new, independent scholarly journal The February Journal. The first is dedicated to silence as a form of micropolitical resistance; the second, to the phenomenon of sanctuary and its role in culture today.
This text considers several case studies of subaltern silence as micropolitical resistance. Around these examples the author threads a theoretical model (using ideas of such thinkers as Gayatri Spivak, Georges Bataille, Michel Foucault and Jean Baudrillard) to explain how performing silences could resist oppression without assuming an underlying well-articulated subjectivity. The paper deals with the force of silence, its conditions of possibility, and its position with respect to representation.
The 2020 Belarusian presidential elections provoked a severe political crisis that continues to this day. Over the past two years, Belarusians have faced unprecedented brutality from the authorities. This performance, in which the author gazes silently into the camera, was an emotional reaction to the news about a student having been detained for expressing her gratitude to one of her teachers, who had been arrested.
The article is devoted to reflecting on silence and speaking in the dreams of people in Russia after the 24th of February 2022. Our two-stage analysis of dream narratives and dreamers’ comments on them uncovers several key topics related to speaking and silence. Interpreting them with the apparatus of sociology, we conclude that these dreams provide a space for restoring agency that had been lost in real life.
This project consists of a short introductory essay on the relationship between silence and resistance and a photographic account of what happened when a fictional young woman decided to conspicuously resist Saint Petersburg’s 2022 National Flag Day celebrations.
This visual essay analyzes the two nodes within the above-mentioned system of evaluating negative spaces: a void and an abyss. Thinking through the lens of different occurrences, the text proposes their definitions (values) at different points of the punishment timeline for the use of silent, idle, and resting activists and artists who found themselves under the scorching heat of looming gore.
This poetic essay considers how politics changes optics of reading poems written more than fifty years ago. The author compares her feelings about Vsevolod Nekrasov’s text 'I’m silent/stay silent’ before and after the events of February 24, 2022.
This paper, through theory and the authors’ own pedagogical and critical spatial practice, explores the ways in which myths and fairytales may suggest playful and collective storytelling to create a plurality of meanings and corporeal engagements that are often silenced through the hegemonic structures of society.
This essay observes and analyzes the practices of a new generation of Russian women artists and their regionally unique politicized and feminist engagement with esoterica and the tactics of occultism and mythmaking.
By analyzing the coverage of the Erste Russische Kunstausstellung (First Russian Art Exhibition), which took place in Berlin in 1922, in newspapers and art journals, mostly from the Weimar Republic, this article highlights the Western interpretation of the newly discovered suprematism and constructivism as well as their radical new aesthetics.
This essay examines works of photographers who explore urban environments in West Africa by establishing an intimate relationship with a place, opening avenues for multiple ways of seeing. This contribution shows how this personal dimension allows photographers to transcend objectivity and go beyond epistemic violence based on the opposition of ‘right’ and ‘wrong.’
This article analyzes extant Russian-as-a-foreign-language (RAF) textbooks aimed at migrant workers. The authors analyze the books in the broader context of migration in today’s Russia from anthropological, pedagogical, and linguistic perspectives.
This essay deals with the concept of sanctuary in relation to Afrodiasporic and postmigrant formations of identity. It discusses coexisting and alternating cultural identities through the work of Russian-Ghanaian artist and photographer Liz Johnson Artur.
This article analyzes the Soviet science-fiction film Per Aspera ad Astra [Cherez ternii k zvezdam, 1980] using the lens of sanctuary.