Common Differences: Issues for Feminist Curating in Post-Socialist Europe
Tallinn, Estonia

Common Differences: Issues for Feminist Curating in Post-Socialist Europe focuses on the history and present situation of feminist curatorial practices in Eastern and Central Europe. In the so-called former East, the emergence of feminist art, curating and criticism is related to wider transformations in art and the social sphere during the post-socialist transition. Accounts of the feminist curatorial projects and ‘gender turn’ in visual art, which began in the early 1990s, have often emphasised national or regional differences. The aim of establishing a common, transnational platform for feminist curating, art criticism and theory in Eastern Europe has become apparent only recently in projects such as Gender Check (2009–10). The symposium Common Differences recognises that the formation and development of feminist curatorial practices in post-socialist countries has been also shaped by a shared political and art-historical past that continues to have ramifications for the present. Despite local variations in degree, feminist curators, thinkers and artists in all former state-socialist countries have had to deal with marginalisation, indifference and lack of support for both their work and the social ideals they advance. The recent wave of feminist exhibitions in major North American and Western European art institutions has so far been without parallel in Eastern Europe. Have feminist ideas had so little impact on curatorial and museum work in the region? Do the local social, economic and political factors provide an un/favourable context for advancing the critical, emancipatory and interventionist politics of feminist curating? Or perhaps such conditions offer a challenge that has the potential to inspire? How, why and when is feminist curating possible, necessary and effective? In which ways have the agendas of feminist curatorship been transfigured by other contemporary critical positions (e.g. critique of neoliberalism, queer curating)?


The symposium is part of the international research network Transnational perspectives on women’s art, feminism and curating, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, UK. The network brings together researchers and curators interested in museum and exhibition practices influenced by feminism. Other supporters: Estonian Academy of Arts and ERSTE Foundation.

Symposium will be held at
Estonian Academy of Arts

Fine Art Building/Rüütelkonna hoone
Kiriku plats 1, Tallinn
rooms 201 and 202

Rüütelkonna hoone ‎‎‎‎(Kiriku plats 1)‎‎‎‎

Site Meter