Marking the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Independence Day, Garage will screen Pier Paolo Pasolini’s documentary and hold a discussion on the specificity of Russian national politics, that will involve students from Moscow universities.
The screening of a Pasolini work on this particular day is no coincidence: engaged in his film, were African actors, although at the same time it offered a stubbornly colonial look at realities in Tanzania, Uganda and Ethiopia in the 1960s. The notes for a film based on Aeschylus’s Oresteia that never came into being, include debates between African students and the director at the Roman University La Sapienza, where they discuss the idea of the Aeschylus tragedy setting, and the implications of post-colonial African affairs.
The debates begun in the film, will be carried on by Moscow university students who will speak about the Russian experience within the system of relations between the colonizing and the colonized peoples, populating the country, as well as the relations between state subjects.
The history of the Russian state can be viewed as a chain of governmental expeditions to the East and West, where the agents of colonialism met both peaceful and military oriented peoples. While transforming the traditions of other nations, Russia has to solve multiple problems that derive from this situation. What historical role did the inclusion of particular territories into the Russian boundaries play at different stages? What does the term “multinational state” mean, in this context? What are the benefits and disadvantages of such a type of politics in the field of contemporary geopolitics? What trends related to colonial politics, can be traced, based on the Russian example? These and similar questions will be addressed by Moscow university students of various specializations and views.
Notes Towards an African Orestes
Dir. Pier Paolo Pasolini, Italy, 1970. 65 mins.