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Workshop: Baku in Soviet- and Post-Soviet Culture

Contemporary discussions about Eurasia as a geographical, cultural, economic and political sphere bring aspects of interrelations between regions, nations and empires in the former Soviet empire to the academic fore. Baku, Azerbaijan's capital, serves as one of the Soviet and post-Soviet prime examples to study the implications of such intercultural

Our workshop on 15th July 2019 aimed to historicize and differentiate Baku’s role as a contact ‘center on the edge’ by bringing examples of Russian-Azeri, Russian-Persian, Azeri-Persian and German-Azeri cultural relations together. Putting these case studies in relation to formative paradigms like multinational Soviet literature, cultural translation, national self-assertion or world literature, the discussion aims to elaborate and identify long-ranging continuities in self-conceptualization and imaginations of the city.

Place: HU Berlin, Unter den Linden 6, Raum 2249A
No registration needed


10:00 WELCOME ADDRESS: Torben Philipp (HU Berlin) & Clemens Günther (FU Berlin)

10:30 LEAH FELDMAN (Chicago): „On the Threshold of Eurasia“: Intertextual Encounters in the Caucasus

11:15 Coffee Break

11:30 ANAR IMANOV (Berlin): Geopoetics of Baku in Contemporary Russian Literature

12:15 TORBEN PHILIPP & CLEMENS GÜNTHER: Imaginations of Neft Daşları in Soviet Culture

13:00 Lunch break

14:30 VALENTINA SMIRNOVA (Berlin): Between Modernity and Backwardness:
Baku‘s Urban Space in Azerbaijani Films of the 1920s and 30s 15:15

IBRAHIM IBRAHIMOV (Rouen): Cinema, Identity, Religion: Azerbaijani Cinema as a Zone of Cooperation and Conflict in Elaboration of Religious Component of National Identity (1916-1956)

16:00 Coffee Break

16:30 Aesthetics of the Absurd: Filmscreening: „All for the Best“ by Vagif Mustafayev (1997)

17:15 ELMIR MIRZOEV (Berlin): Baku as a Macabre Space: İçərişəhər (Old city), Oilfields and Salt Lakes

18:00 GÜNAY RZAYEVA (Berlin): M. F. Achundov. Canonization of the writer in the toponymy of Baku in the late Soviet and post-Soviet period.