321N Centre for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies
Centre for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies
1 Devonshire Place, Toronto, ON, M5S 3K7
Supported by Soulpepper Theatre and the Jackman Humanities Institute, the multimedia installation, The Neighbours: Forms of Trauma (1945-1989), by Lilia Topouzova, Krasimira Butseva, and Julian Chehirian constitutes the public-facing art component of the international academic workshop Authoritarianism: Lives, Legacies, Trauma, led by Professors Joshua Arthurs and Lilia Topouzova.
The installation is built upon 40 interviews conducted by Topouzova and Butseva with survivors from the Bulgarian gulag (1945-1987). The project is the outcome of 20 years of scholarly research and 9 years of artistic collaboration.
Through object, video and sound interventions, the artists recreate the survivors’ homes and evoke the material and psychological space where the interviews unfolded. Staged within them are fragments from oral histories, field recordings and video from former camp sites. The media conflux evokes the unstable boundaries between spaces of home and the psychologically proximate sites of violence.
The public are welcome to view the installation between 1:00 pm and 5:00 pm each day. The organizers will hold a special event on September 28, 2023, from 5:30 pm to 8 pm including a guided tour of the installation, a live musical performance featuring works by composers who experienced authoritarian regimes, curated by Catherine Lukits, doctoral candidate in History at the University of Toronto and former orchestral cellist, and a panel discussion between the visual artists and Rohan Kulkarni, Director of Education and Community Engagement at Soulpepper Theater.
Public Event: Moving through Sound
On September 28, 2023 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm, the organizers will host a public event exploring authoritarianism through voice and sound. Guests will hear the voices of survivors of political violence and will listen to the music of composers who survived authoritarian regimes.
This event includes a guided tour of the installation, a live musical performance featuring works by composers who experienced authoritarian regimes, curated by Catherine Lukits, doctoral candidate in History at the University of Toronto and former orchestral cellist, and a panel discussion between the visual artists and Rohan Kulkarni from Soulpepper Theater.
Guided Tour of the Installation
6:00 to 8:00 pm
Welcoming remarks by Professors Joshua Arthurs and Lilia Topouzova
György Ligeti – Sonata for Solo Cello (1948/1953)
Leana Rutt, cello (Canadian Opera Company)
Marcel d’Entromont (Canadian Opera Company)
Rohan Kulkarni (Soulpepper Theater) in conversation with the artists and scholars, Lilia Topouzova (University of Toronto), Julian Chehirian (Princeton University), and Krasimira Butseva (London College of Communication, University of the Arts London).
For Faculty Members: If you are interested in booking a tour of the installation for your class in the week of September 25 to 29, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.