Reinventing Ukraine at 30fps: The Babylon13 Collective

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    • Presentation speakers
      • Bjorn Ingvoldstad, Bridgewater State University (USA),and Fulbright U.S. Scholar to Lithuania


    The past 18 months have been tumultuous for Europe—but they’ve been cumulatively catastrophic for the Ukraine. From the daily vigils in the Kiev Maidan to the heavy fighting in the east of the country (including the downing of the Malaysian airliner), the conflict in Ukraine has brought new urgency of the notion of “Europe,” as well as its sometimes – Other, “Eastern Europe.” One way for non-Ukrainians to follow what has been happening within the country has been through regular video dispatches from the Babyon13 video collective. This presentation will discuss their work as a compelling “history of the present,” a mushrooming archive whose formal and stylistic elements, I argue, call the question of what “Europe” means to us in 2015. Indeed, similar to Timothy Garton Ash’s assertion in the wake of the “Revolutions of ‘89” that the West had much to learn from the East a quarter-century ago, I maintain that the “Maidan Revolution” and its aftermath show yet again that the (non-EU) East continues to fight for that which the European Union argues. By re-viewing Babylon13, we review this East/West binary, and we renew our commitment to being “united in diversity.”