On today’s episode, hosted by producer Rebekah (@bex2241), a fourth-year undergraduate student at the University of Toronto pursuing a double major degree in History and Russian Language & Literature and a minor in Practical French, you will hear part of a conversation that she moderated, titled: Looking to the Future of LGBTQ Identities in Eastern Europe and the Slavic Diaspora, which took place on Zoom on Monday, November 2nd, 2020, and it was organized by the Slavic Languages and Literatures Department here at the University of Toronto. She sits down with writer and poet Gala Mukomolova, Dr. Mateusz Świetlicki, and Musician Damir Imamović to discuss the role of culture and activism in the community as they look toward the future. Rebekah would like to thank Professors Dragana Obradovic, Zdenko Mandušić, and Agnieszka Jezyk for putting together this conversation and the invitation to moderate. The bios for these accomplished speakers will be below:
Gala Mukomolova (@Galactic_Rabbit) is a Moscow-born, Brooklyn-raised poet and essayist. Her full-length poetry collection, Without Protection, is available through Coffee House Press. Her chapbook, One Above One Below: Positions & Lamentations, is available with YesYes Books. She is a recipient of the 2016 Discovery Prize from 92nd St Y & Boston Review and has held residencies at Vermont Studio Center, Pink Door, and ASYLUM Arts. Gala currently writes astrology articles for NYLON Magazine, co-hosts Big Dyke Energy Podcast, and is one of the creators of QueerHealers.com. She is a founder and part of The Cheburashka Collective (@the_cheburashki), a growing collective of women & nonbinary writers who are emigres/refugees/first-generation from the Soviet diaspora.
Damir Imamović (@damirimamovic) is a singer, musician, author, and sevdah master from Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina. He comes from a family of sevdah musicians and represents a new generation of the traditional music of Bosnia-Herzegovina. In 2004 he worked with Farah Tahirbegović on a monograph of his grandfather and one of the most influential sevdah singers – Zaim Imamović. That book introduced him to the world of sevdah and the world of professional music. Soon he started developing his own repertoire while performing in Bosnia and abroad. Damir has a trio and a quartet that he performs with, as well as individual musicians. Damir is very active as a traditional music researcher and educator with his SevdahLab program. He curated a multimedia exhibition on sevdah music, «Sevdah, the art of freedom,» in Sarajevo in 2015. His book «Sevdah» is the first history of the genre of sevdah (Vrijeme, 2016).
Song mentioned by Damir:
Dr. Mateusz Świetlicki (@drswietlicki) is an Assistant Professor at the University of Wrocław (Institute of English Studies) and a founding member of the Centre for Research on Children’s and Young Adult Literature (Faculty of Letters, University of Wrocław). He was a Fulbright scholar at the University of Illinois at Chicago (2018). He has held multiple fellowships in Munich, Kyiv, and Harvard. Mateusz specializes in North American and Slavic studies, and his expertise is contemporary children’s and YA literature and culture, gender, and queer studies, as well as popular culture and film. Mateusz is the author of more than 50 scholarly publications in English, Polish, and Ukrainian. His work appeared in Children’s Literature in Education, International Research in Children’s Literature, and The Lion and the Unicorn.
Book and article mentioned by Dr. Świetlicki: