Dora García and Maria Lind's research project is inspired by the figure of Alexandra Kollontai, a writer, feminist, political émigré, and revolutionary who advocated a radical transformation of the relationship between men and women.
With concepts of free love and camaraderie at the center of her beliefs, Kollontai was influential within the Bolshevik party (she was appointed People's Commissar of Public Charity in the first Soviet government) and headed the struggle for woman's rights, including for divorce, abortion, and legal status for children born outside marriage. Many of the reforms she initiated to liberate women from "domestic slavery" were reversed under Stalin in the 1930s.
Kollontai's radical ideas on women's sexual liberation became known in western Europe and America through her diplomatic work as ambassador to Norway, Mexico, and Sweden, as well as due to the many reprints of her writings, including the manifesto Make Way for Winged Eros! and the stories Three Generations, Sisters, and Vasilisa Malygina. The latter was first published in English in 1927 with the title Red Love. The image of its protagonist served as a starting point for García's exhibition Red Love at Tensta Konsthall in Stockholm, which opened in May 2018.
As part of their research, García and Lind are planning to visit archives in Moscow and St. Petersburg and study photographs, films, and recordings related to the life of Alexandra Kollontai, as well as her writings and objects that once belonged to her, in order to explore the cultural and historical contexts of her work.
Researchers: Dora García and Maria Lind