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Presented By: Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies

CREES Noon Lecture. What We Shared: Emotions as Documents of Historical Significance

Kamila Kuc, film director

What We Shared film What We Shared film
What We Shared film
How do artists respond to events that shatter pre-existing ways of apprehending the world? Looking at What We Shared, a hybrid artist film set in a de facto state of Abkhazia, this illustrated artist talk proposes that in order to effectively process and offer valuable insights into the "unrepresentable" events that contain multiple truths (war, ethnic conflict), it is necessary to examine emotions as documents of historical significance.

Informed by the writings of Svetlana Alexievich, Svetlana Boym and Viktor Shklovsky, this talk argues that engaging with archive, memory, and trauma today requires experiential responses to testimony and that these responses challenge the rigidly defined categories of "objectivity," "fact," and "fiction."

Dr. Kamila Kuc explores stories that subvert dominant narratives of history, especially those relating to post-Soviet identities. She is a 2021 Jarman Award nominee. Her first feature film, What We Shared (2021), premiered at the 65th BFI London Film Festival and was described as one of "the finest examples of UK filmmaking" by Festival Scope. She is the author and editor of numerous books and articles on experimental media, including Visions of Avant-Garde Film (Indiana University Press).

This lecture will be presented in person in 555 Weiser Hall and on Zoom. Webinar registration required at

CREES is proud to co-sponsor the North American premiere of "What We Shared" at the 60th Ann Arbor Film Festival. Please see more details about the film showing as well as how to watch it online here:

If there is anything we can do to make this event accessible to you, please contact Please be aware that advance notice is necessary as some accommodations may require more time for the university to arrange.

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