This Week

Tuesday, January 17, 2017 to Friday, March 10, 2017
9:00 am - 5:00 pm, Mon - Fri
Harriman Institute Atrium (420 W. 118th Street, 12th floor)

Oleg Vassiliev is regarded as a key member of the Nonconformist Art movement; rather than confining himself to the discussion of contemporary political and societal issues, Vassiliev’s work explores concepts reaching beyond questions of social order. Among his immediate influences are the lyrical realist landscape paintings of Isaac Levitan and Kazimir Malevich’s Suprematist art. As the Russian artist Erik Bulatov puts it, Vassiliev’s painting “connects such disparate lines of development in Russian art as nineteenth-century realist painting, landscape painting in particular, and the avant-garde of the 1910s and 1920s.” Though he immigrated to the United States in 1990, Russia and Russian art continued to play an important role in Vassiliev’s work.  Rather than reject past artistic experiments, Vassiliev embraced them, combining traditional artistic concepts with nonconformist ideas and influences from early 20th Century abstract art. The past and present seem to collide in his work, and this work, too, appears timeless—at once belonging to the past and the present. Linked to this idea of timelessness, is the idea of transitional space. Throughout his works, Vassiliev emphasizes the importance of memory. Individual memories, often the starting points of his work, become universal explorations of memory and the act of remembering.

Vassiliev was born in 1931 in Moscow, and lived and worked in New York. He died in St. Paul, Minnesota in 2013. He has been the recipient of numerous artistic awards and grants, including from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation (1994 and 2002). In 1999, he was the first recipient of the “Liberty Prize.” His work has been displayed in museum exhibitions across the globe.

This exhibit is presented by the Kolodzei Art Foundation, a public foundation (est. 1991) that organizes exhibitions and cultural exchanges in museums and cultural centers in the United States, Russia and other countries, often utilizing the considerable resources of the Kolodzei Collection of Russian and Eastern European Art, publishes books on Russian art, and provides art supplies to Russian artists. The Kolodzei Collection of Russian and Eastern European Art is one of the world’s largest private art collections, and consists of over 7,000 works, including paintings, drawings, sculptures, photographs and videos, by more than 300 artists from Russia and the former Soviet Union. For additional information visit or email

On view 9:00 am - 5:00 pm, Mon - Fri

Exhibit opening reception on Monday, January 23, 2016 at 6:00 pm

Monday, February 20, 2017
Marshall D. Shulman Seminar Room (1219 International Affairs Building)

Please join us for a talk with András Riedlmayer, Director of the Documentation Center of the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at Harvard University.

András Riedlmayer directs the Documentation Center of the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at Harvard University. A specialist in the history, art and cultures of SE Europe, he has spent much of the past 25 years documenting the destruction of cultural heritage in the Balkan wars of the 1990s. He has testified about his findings before the UN war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in the trials of Slobodan Milošević and other indictees. In March 2006, he was an expert witness in the genocide case brought by Bosnia against Serbia before the International Court of Justice. He has been involved initiatives to help recover and rebuild library collections, historical archives and built heritage lost or damaged in the Balkan wars of the 1990s. His talk will explore the nexus between the protection of cultural heritage and human rights in time of armed conflict and the legal and practical challenges of bringing to justice those responsible for crimes against culture.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017
East Gallery, Buell Hall (Maison Française)

Please join us for a screening and discussion of Our Everyday Life (Naša svakodnevna priča), a poignant film by Ines Tanović that offers a powerful snapshot into the lives of a modern Bosnian family. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with lead actor Uliks Fehmiu.


6:30 p.m. Adjunct Professor of International and Public Affairs Tanya Domi Will Deliver Opening Remarks

6:38 p.m. Fordham University Professor Dijana Jelaca will introduce the film.  

6:45 p.m. Screen Our Everyday Life (89 minutes)

8:14 p.m. Q&A with lead actor Uliks Fehmiu.

Our Everyday Life won the BHFF 2016 Audience Award for Best Picture, and also received special recognition from the BHFF Jury in the feature film category.

The Bosnian-Herzegovinian Film Festival (BHFF) is an exciting showcase for contemporary Bosnian-Herzegovinian cinematography, and films with Bosnia and Herzegovina as their theme. Each year, BHFF brings a colorful tableau of Bosnian and Herzegovinian stories to diverse New York City audiences. Over the years it has grown from a simple film revue event to a New York City institution; its audience includes people with Bosnian heritage, people from other Balkan expatriate communities, as well as a wide cross-section of all New Yorkers who cherish international and independent film productions. 

BHFF films explore the multifaceted character of Bosnia-Herzegovina, including portrayals of its beauty, hospitality, rich arts, history, and culture, as well as analyses of contemporary challenges faced by its people. The festival also strives to promote film arts and film production in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and to explore well as the country’s film arts background and history.

In addition to its rich and powerful film programming, BHFF also explores the less visible aspects of the filmmaking process in a series of special events, including filmmaker Q&As, panel discussions, and social events. By providing a platform for audience members to interact with filmmakers, BHFF brings forth the beauty of and challenges within filmmaking, and contributes to a better understanding and appreciation of film arts and the power of visual storytelling.

The 14th Annual BHFF will be held April 12-15, 2017 at the SVA Theatre, New York City.



Friday, February 24, 2017 to Saturday, February 25, 2017

On February 24 and 25, 2017, the Ukrainian Studies Program at the Harriman Institute of Columbia University will be organizing a conference entitled Ukrainian Statehood 1917–21: Institutions and Individuals that will commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the Ukrainian Revolution and the creation of the modern Ukrainian state.

The conference will focus both on the important institutions that were founded under the Ukrainian Central Rada/Ukrainian National Republic, the Ukrainian State of Hetman Pavlo Skoropadsky, the Ukrainian National Republic under the Dyrectoria, and on the individuals that formed them. These state institutions proved to be essential in organizing and giving structure to Ukrainian political, educational, cultural and religious developments at that time. The successes and failures of these initiatives provided models that were both emulated and adjusted in subsequent years and that continue to inform Ukrainian nation-building efforts today.  The conference will examine the lasting impact of these individuals and institutions on Ukrainian culture and scholarship.

The two-day conference will feature panels focusing on political, academic and religious institutions, literature, visual art and music as well as on memoirs and archives of this period. Among the people and organizations that will be examined at Ukrainian Statehood 1917–21: Institutions and Individuals are: Volodymyr Vynnychenko, Heorhii Narbut, Ahatanhel Krymsky, Kyrylo Stetsenko, Serhii Iefremov, Yuri Mezhenko, Pavlo Khrystiuk, Mykhail’ Semenko, the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church, The Union for the Liberation of Ukraine, the National Library, The Ukrainian State Academy of Arts and the Kyiv Conservatory.

A characteristic shared by many of the aforementioned individuals is that they were involved in several fields and institutions at once: the academic, literary and political activities intersect in one variety of individual, while the religious, political and musical in another. Ukrainian Statehood 1917–21: Institutions and Individuals will allow theses particularities to be analyzed from different angles. Another important aspect underlying both institutions and individuals of this period—emigration—will also be touched upon in multiple panels.

Participating in Ukrainian Statehood 1917–21: Institutions and Individuals will be scholars from the US, Canada and Ukraine, including: Andrew Fedynsky, Olena Haleta, Tamara Hundorova, Oleh Ilnytzkyj, Valentyna Kharkhun, Myroslava Mudrak, Victor Ostapchuk, Marko Stech, Melanie Turgeon, Maxim Tarnawsky, Mark von Hagen, and Zenon Wasyliw.

The first day of Ukrainian Statehood 1917–21: Institutions and Individuals will conclude with a reception while the second day will close with a concert focusing on priest, composer and UNR government minister Kyrylo Stetsenko and the genre of the Ukrainian Art Song, which he developed at that time and which has been recently rehabilitated. The concert will take place at the Ukrainian Institute of America (co-organizer of the conference) and will feature Monica Whicher (soprano), Andrea Ludwig (mezzo soprano) and Albert Krywolt (piano). The entire conference, including the reception and the concert, is free and open to the public. No registration is necessary to attend the conference panels but registration is necessary to attend the concert.  Please register for the concert at:

Conference Program


International Conference

February 24 -25, 2017

Columbia University


Friday, February 24, 2017

Room 1512 – International Affairs Building (420 West 118th St)

Panel One (1:30-3:30PM)

Chair: Martha Bohachevsky-Chomiak

Mark von Hagen "Reading Pavlo Khrystiuk's 'Notes and Materials': Why the Ukrainian Revolution Matters for Historians of the Russian Revolutions"

Zenon Wasyliw “Revolution in Faith: The Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church and its Impact on the Ukrainian Village”

Andrew Fedynsky “Working Toward a National Ukrainian Outcome to the Great War: The Union for the Liberation of Ukraine and Other Materials at the Ukrainian Museum-Archives”


Panel Two (4:00-6:00PM)

Chair: Myroslava Tomorug Znayenko

Victor Ostapchuk “Ahatanhel KrymskyOrientalist, Ukrainianist, and Permanent Secretary, 1918-1928: The Ukrainian Revolution’s Struggle for an Academy”

Maxim Tarnawsky “Serhii Iefremov: Politician, Publisher, Publicist, and Scholar”

Olena Haleta "Traditional Building: The National Library as a ‘Revolutionary Project’ by Yuri Mezhenko"


Saturday, February 25, 2017
Room 1512 – International Affairs Building (420 West 118th St)

Panel Three (11:00AM-1:00PM)

Chair: Ambassador Valeriy Kuchynskyi

Myroslava Mudrak “The Making of a Brand—The Shaping of Identity: The Life and Legacy of Heorhii Narbut”

Marko Stech “An ‘Academic Revolution’: The Ukrainian State Academy of Arts and Kyiv Conservatory in the Revolutionary Kyiv of 1917-19”

Melanie Turgeon Broken Harp Strings: The Art Songs of Kyrylo Stetsenko and the Ukrainian Art Song Project”

Lunch Break (1:00-2:30PM)

Panel Four (2:30-4:30PM)

Chair: Yuri Shevchuk

Tamara Hundorova “Volodymyr Vynnychenko’s Novel ‘Across the Line’ as Psychoanalysis of the Ukrainian Revolution”

Valentyna Kharkhun “‘Ukrainian History Should Be Read with Bromine’: Vynnychenko’s Image of the Ukrainian Revolution”

Oleh Ilnytzkyj “Revolution, National Culture and the Avant-Garde: Mykhail’ Semenko as Impresario of a New Ukraine”


Ukrainian Art Song Concert (7:30PM)

Ukrainian Institute of America (2 East 79th St, New York, NY 10075)


Andrea Ludwig (mezzo soprano)

Monica Whicher (soprano)

Albert Krywolt (piano)


Presented by the Ukrainian Studies Program at the Harriman Institute, Columbia University.

Organized in collaboration with The Ukrainian Institute of America.

The conference is free and open to the public.

Registration is required to attend the concert portion of the conference.

Register for the concert at:

Friday, February 24, 2017 to Saturday, February 25, 2017
9:00am - 6:30pm
Deutsches Haus, Columbia University (420 116th St, 1st Floor)

Please join us for a two-day conference entitled "All Things Living and Not: An Interdisciplinary Conference on Non-Anthropocentric Perspectives in Slavic Studies."

The last two decades have witnessed a revision in the concept of alterity, decentering the human in how we reckon with the other. Animal studies, artificial intelligence, ecocriticism, etc. not only ask us to consider the possibility of non-human subjects, but also challenge our very humanness and, along with it, the very premises of the humanities and human sciences. What does a non-anthropocentric understanding of the other offer to the field of Slavic studies? And conversely, what can the cultures, histories, and belief systems of Central and Eastern Europe and Eurasia reveal about practices and possibilities of radical alterity?

The international conference, All Things Living and Not, brings together senior scholars and emerging researchers from across the U.S. and former socialist bloc to discuss the conjunction between the animal, the plant, the machine, inorganic matter, and the human as a way to destabilize the mind-body dichotomy, class, race, gender, age, etc. Keynote speaker Ewa Domanska (Poznan and Stanford) along with stream leaders Jane Costlow (Bates), Serguei Oushakine (Princeton), and Oxana Timofeeva (European U. in St. Petersburg) will push participants to think through new approaches to the cultures, histories, and politics of the region.

Day 1: Friday, February 24
Deutsches Haus, Columbia University (420 116th St, 1st Floor)

9:00 AM – Things 1: The Vibrancy of Soviet Matter

Stream leader: Serguei Oushakine
Nariman Skakov – The Soviet Empire of Things: “Post-Formalist” Viktor Shklovsky on Matter and Commodities
Tyler Adkins – “You Can’t Eat a Toyota”: Encounters with the (Post-)Soviet Thing-System
Juliane Furst – Soviet Hippie Materiality, or Why Hippie Things and Late Socialism Were Made for Each Other
Yulia Karpova – Portraits of Things and Bioplasticity: Materialities of 1970s Soviet Decorative Art

11:15 AM – Environment 1: Critical Ecologies

Stream leader: Jane Costlow
Cathy Popkin – People Trees
Colleen McQuillen – The Political Ecology of Coal Mining: from Historical to Vital Materialism in Aleksandr Kuprin’s Donbass Stories
Leone Musgrave – The Non-Human, the Anthropogenic, and the Autogenic in a Moment of Human Crisis: The North Caucasus Environment in Revolution and Civil War

1:30 PM – Lunch break

2:45 PM – Bodies 1: (Bodily) Limits

Stream leader: Oxana Timofeeva
Julia Vaingurt – Unwholesome copies in Karel Capek’s RUR and Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go
Elena Fratto – Narrative Agency and the Pituitary Gland: Metabolic Storytelling in Mikhail Bulgakov’s “Heart of a Dog”
Christopher Caes – Dying to See: Historical Trauma and the Posthuman in Zdzisław Beksiński
Anna Fishzon – Animation and the Posthuman: Trauma, Queer Failure, and Creative Anthropomorphism in the Stagnation Era

5:00–6:30 PM – Keynote: Ewa Domanska – Ecological Humanities

Day 2: Saturday, February 25:
Deutsches Haus, Columbia University (420 116th St, 1st Floor)

9:00 AM – Things 2: Affect and Things

Stream leader: Serguei Oushakine
Marina and Vladimir Abashev – “A piercing pity for the tin box in a waste patch…”: The Appeal of Things and the Human Response in Russian Culture
Irina Schulzki – The Gesture of Things in the Films of Kira Muratova
Samuel Nowak – Maria Janion and Object-Oriented Philosophy

11:00 AM – Environment 2: New Vitalisms

Stream leader: Jane Costlow
Mieka Erley – A Theory for the Post-Anthropocene? Soviet Vitalism and the New Materialism
Aleksandra Jach – Naturecultures and the Avant-garde
Aleksandra Tatarsky – Macaroni Cosmos and Pickle Politics

1:00 PM – Lunch break

2:15 PM – Bodies 2: Extra-Human Socialities

Stream leader: Oxana Timofeeva
Lorraine Weekes – Cyborg Body Politic: Estonian Data Embassies and the Immortal Nation
Diana Mincyte – Cows in Transition: Nature, State, and Animal Subjectivity in the 20th-Century Baltics
Serhii Tereshchenko – Cities against Humans: Life in the Abandoned Cities of Chornobyl’s Zone

4:30 PM – Round-table Wrap-up with Stream Leaders and Keynote

Ewa Domanska
Jane Costlow
Serguei Oushakine
Oxana Timofeeva
Moderator: Eliza Rose

Sunday, February 26, 2017
Lerner Cinema, Lerner Hall (2920 Broadway)

Please join the Harriman Institute and the student association Aryeh for a screening of the film Operation Wedding (2016), followed by a Q&A with director and producer Anat Zalmanson-Kuznetsov. Free and unticketed for CUID holders, $10 tickets for non-CUID holders must be purchased in advance HERE.

Run time: 63 minutes

Leningrad, 1970. A group of young Jewish dissidents who were denied exit visas plot to hijack an empty plane and escape the USSR. Caught by the KGB a few steps from boarding, they were sentenced to years in the gulag and two were sentenced to death though they never got on the plane. Forty-five years later, filmmaker Anat Zalmanson-Kuznetsov reveals the compelling story of her parents, leaders of the group, who are "heroes" in the West but "terrorists" in Russia, even today.

It started as a fantasy, Operation Wedding, as outrageous as it was simple: under the disguise of a trip to a local family wedding, the hijackers would buy every ticket on a small twelve-seater plane, so there would be no passengers but them, no innocents in harm’s way. The group’s pilot, who once flew for the Red Army, would take over the controls and fly the sixteen runaways into the sky, over the Soviet border, and on to Sweden, bound for Israel. They were caught in the airport, a few steps from boarding the plane, and tried for high treason. Among those arrested remained one woman to be on trial: Sylva Zalmanson, who receives 10 years in Gulag. Sylva's newlywed husband Edward Kuznetsov, receives death sentence.

While the Soviet press writes "the criminals received their punishment", tens of thousands of people in the free world demand "Let My People Go!" As the Iron Curtain opens a crack for 300,000 Soviets Jews wanting to flee, the group members are held back to pay the price of freedom for everyone else.

"Your parents are heroes," Anat had been told ever since she was a child. Every year at school, she was asked to stand up in class and share their story. Nevertheless, the saga of the family was gradually forgotten. At age 29, Anat decided to do what she had been asked since the first grade. She would tell her parents’ story to the world.

Anat travels with her mother Sylva to retrace the group's journey from the day of the arrest at the small Soviet airport to KGB prison where 25 year-old Sylva was kept before the trial. Anat's research continues for years and she finds rare archives and interviews former key members of the KGB, trying to understand their point of view.

Through a collage of interviews, discussions over vodka and cigarettes, rare archives and reenactment made both in Israel 1980 and in Russia 2010, Anat reveals for the first time the full story of her parents and a group of civilians who changed history and cracked the Iron Curtain.

Anat Zalmanson-Kuznetsov was born in Israel to Sylva Zalmanson and Edward Kuznetsov, leaders of the Dymshits–Kuznetsov hijacking affair. She studied filmmaking at the London Film School and Sapir college and has been commercially successful in popular media and promotional productions with companies such as L'oreal and Clinique. She has also directed music videos for well known Israeli musicians such as Yermi Kaplan and Julietta. It has been a long-standing ambition for her to tell the story of her parents in the medium of film.

Monday, February 27, 2017
Marshall D. Shulman Seminar Room (1219 International Affairs Building)

Please join us for a talk with Olga Shevchenko, Professor of Sociology at Williams College.

This event is part of the Harriman at 70 Lecture Series.

This 'show-and-tell" talk examines the ideological messages embedded in vernacular photographs preserved in private archived of former Soviet citizens. More specifically, it will focus on vernacular photography as a micro-technology of power, one that translates into everyday terms and naturalizes for subsequent generations such profoundly ideological constructs as empire, nation and citizenship.

Olga Shevchenko is Professor of Sociology at the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at Williams College (Massachusetts), where she teaches courses on social theory, postsocialism, sociology of consumer culture, photography, and social memory. In 2002-2003, Shevchenko was a postdoctoral fellow at the Harriman Institute, where she worked on her manuscript, Crisis and the Everyday in Postsocialist Moscow (2009, Indiana University Press). Shevchenko is also the editor of Double Exposure: Memory and Photography (2014, Transaction Publishers). Her articles on post-Soviet political culture, consumption and family photographic archives have appeared in such journals as Europe-Asia StudiesJournal of Consumer Culture and Social Psychology Quarterly, as well as a number of edited volumes and collections. She is currently working with historian Oksana Sarkisova on a collaborative ethnographic project on Soviet family photography and generational memories of socialism, provisionally entitled Snapshot Histories