Online Workshop: To the Left of Power? Radical Culture in Eastern Europe in the 1960s and 1970s

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To the Left of Power?

Radical Culture in Eastern Europe in the 1960s and 1970s

New research has put attention on the different faces of the Counterculture that emerged and spread in Eastern Europe under communist rule in the late 1960s and 1970s. Communes, psychedelics and other aspects of the hippie lifestyle were embraced as alternatives both to conservative 'bourgeois' life and the hollow revolutionary rhetoric of Soviet power. Some took a more ideological approach by aligning themselves to the Civil Rights and the Anti-Vietnam War movements in the West, or by drawing inspiration from the liberation movements in Cuba and Africa or even the Cultural Revolution in Mao's China. Sexuality and gender also formed new fronts of political action and thinking.

In this online workshop - organised in two separate sessions (with different Zoom links) - contributors will explore the ways in which Counter-Cultural affinities and New Left politics were channelled by artists, theatre, film-makers, writers, musicians and others in Eastern Europe in the 1960s and 1970s.

This event is free and open to all. No booking required - just log in to the zoom links below. All times CEST.

This workshop is organised by Ieva Astahovska, Mari Laanemets and David Crowley with the support of the Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art and the Nep4Dissent Research Network, an EU COST Action Association - 

Full details of the programme, speaker biogs and abstracts are available at


Monday 27 September 2021 - 14.00-17.30 CEST

Zoom link

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Session 1 - chaired by Mari Laanemets and Ieva Astahovska


14.00-14.30 CEST

Gabriela Świtek

Against War and Fascism - The 1970 

International Exhibition in Warsaw and the Pacifism of the Counterculture


14.30-15.00 CEST

Marko Zubak

US Counterculture and the Yugoslav Youth Press


15.00-15.30 CEST

Dorota Jarecka and Paulina Olszewska 

Decolonizations from a Socialist Perspective


15.30-16.00 CEST

Magdalena Radomska

Was the Cobblestone a Weapon of the Proletariat in Hungarian Art of the 1970s?


16.00-16.30 CEST

Wiktoria Szczupacka

Art Workers Between Avant-Garde Art Circles and the Cultural Policy of the Late Communist State - KwieKulik’s Artistic Practice and the Issue of Work during the 1970s in the People’s Republic of Poland


16.30-17.00 CEST

David Crowley

‘New Art of the Times of the October Revolution’ or ‘Avant-garde and Revolution’?


17.00 CEST



Monday 4th October 2021 - 12.00-17.00 CEST

Zoom link

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Keynote talk and conversation



Keti Chukrov on Practicing the Good: Desire and Boredom in Soviet Socialism


Session 2 - chaired by David Crowley


14.00-14.30 CEST

Alessandra Franetovich 

‘Cosmic Thoughts’ in Moscow Conceptualism during the 1970s


14.30-15.00 CEST

Christian Nae

Eclectic Spiritualism in Romanian Experimental Art during the 1970s


15.00-15.30 CEST

Ana Peraica

Between National Upheavals and the Culture of Drugs - On Some New Photographs of Red Peristyle (Split, Yugoslavia, 1968)


15.30-16.00 CEST

Samo Oleami

Slovene Neo-avantgardes 1964-75 - OHO and 442 / Pupilija Ferkeverk


16.00-16.30 CEST

Agata Jakubowska

Between Science of Desire and Free Love - Maria Pinińska-Bereś and Jana Želibská on female sexuality


16.30 CEST

Concluding discussion