"Biafra of Spirit: Third World Students in Czechoslovakia” Exhibition at tranzit.sk

Biafra of Spirit
Third World Students in Czechoslovakia

Curator: Tereza Stejskalová
Collaboration: Zbyněk Baladrán

Opening: 6 October 2016 at 6.00 pm
Venue: tranzit sk, Beskydská 12, Bratislava
Exhibition dates: 7 October – 26 November 2016
Open: Wednesday – Saturday, 2 – 7 pm

Bus Shuttle: Register here for the shuttle bus to the opening event
(Vienna – Bratislava – Vienna, scroll down for more info).

The phrase “Biafra of Spirit” was coined by Louis Aragon in Les Lettres Françaises during October of 1968 to refer to the effect of the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, namely, the crackdown of Czechoslovak intellectuals. Perhaps today we no longer see why the name of an African secessionist state in eastern Nigeria was used to describe the crashed reformist revolution in an Eastern European country. Despite great cultural, geographical and political differences, the struggle of the Czechoslovak people and the people of Biafra were understood by many at the time as the very same fight – a courageous struggle for independence in the face of a much stronger oppressor. In other words, both Biafra and Czechoslovakia have become symbols, the importance of which exceeded their respective borders.

This exhibition project explores the neglected connection between the cultural and political renaissance in Czechoslovakia in the 1960’s and the decolonization project. The temporary residence of Third World students in Czechoslovakia serves as a lens for reviewing events that are key to our cultural identity. The exhibition showcases films, posters and photographs by Africans and Asians who studied in Czechoslovakia during 1960s and 1970s as images of internationalism and cultural exchange. It also portrays Czechoslovak art, namely the Czechoslovak New Wave, as being influenced by the presence of Third World students.

Project is realised in collaboration with tranzit.cz. This project has been supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic.

Source: http://www.erstestiftung.org/blog/biafra-of-spirit/

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