I contribute to the analysis of various modes of power and geopolitics of knowledge production in contemporary transnational contexts, in particular in relation to postsocialist Eastern Europe, through a keen focus on the visual arts, culture, media and activism.
In Whirling Stories: Postsocialist Feminist Imaginaries and the Visual Arts (2013), I offer an account of my 36-months long ethnographic engagement with the work of Anna-Stina Treumund, Estonia’s first artist to put queer feminist and lesbian sexuality center-stage. Through a partial focus on her photographic self-portraiture, the study explores the role of geopolitics and visual arts in producing knowledge about time, space, gender and sexuality, and contests the fantasy, prevalent within Western theorizing, about a ‘lag’ between Western and Eastern Europe.
With Madina Tlostanova and Suruchi Thapar-Björkert, I co-edited Postcolonial and Postsocialist Dialogues: Intersections, Opacities, Challenges in Feminist Theorizing and Practice (Routledge, 2021). Staging dialogues between scholars, activists and artists from a variety of disciplinary, geographical and historical specializations, this volume brings together attempts to understand if and how postcolonial and postsocialist dimensions of the human condition – historical, existential, political, and ideological – intersect and correlate in feminist experiences, identities, and struggles. The contributions engage with issues of gender, sexuality, race, migration, diasporas, indigeneity, and disability, and address the emergence of new political and cultural formations as well as circuits of bodies and capital in post-Cold War and postcolonial era in currently re-emerging neo-colonial and imperial conflicts.
In a co-researched volume Gendering Military Sacrifice: A Feminist Comparative Analysis (eds Cecilia Åse and Maria Wendt, 2019), I focus on the intersections of gender, nation and war in Estonian media discourses, parliamentary debates and state-commissioned art projects in relation to the ISAF-mission in Afghanistan.
I’m currently pursuing two main projects:
In my second monograph Implicated Aesthetics: Postsocialist Europe and Global Coloniality (in preparation), I reframe the concept of European whiteness and its relationship to racism through considering the implication of postsocialist Eastern Europe in global coloniality and transnational racialized imaginations. I explore this relation of implication through aesthetic media to understand how historically constituted racial formations organize the ground of Eastern European politics in the present and how Eastern Europe might figure in the current decolonizing efforts to contest racial hierarchies on a global scale.
In my ongoing postdoctoral project at the University of Bergen, I explore the impact of the #MeToo movement on the stratified institutional structures of academia in Norway and South Africa. The project places the discourses that surround sexual violence within academia into a transnational context. Considering the Global North/Global South binary through the two locations chosen, I trace the dynamics of global production of knowledge and the effect of the #MeToo moment on the local contexts.