STURM AND SLANG: Natalia Papaeva, Tudebei Khandama, Agnieszka Matkowska, and Timur Zolotoev, panel discussion

The discussion will consider different perspectives on the role of language in shaping the identity of the Buryads, a Mongolian people indigenous to Eastern Siberia. It will cover the evolution and the gradual decline of the Buryad language throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries in Imperial, Soviet, and contemporary Russia. The panellists will explore various forms of cultural resistance and persistence deployed by artists, writers, storytellers, and other culture makers.

Literary translator and researcher Agnieszka Matkowska will focus on the Buryad oral tradition and discuss her fieldwork in Buryatia, as well as the role of storytellers in the nation-building process, before and after the fall of the USSR. Teacher and activist Tudebei Khandama will explore compelling cases of language use in activism and propaganda and offer her insights on the current condition of the Buryad language from the perspective of a teacher. Artist Natalia Papaeva will show her video work and elaborate on the role language and personal and collective experiences play in her artistic practice.

The panel will be moderated by curator and Pickle Bar resident Timur Zolotoev.

Agnieszka Matkowska is a literary translator and researcher with her main research focus on Buryad oral tradition. She is an associate member of the Folklore Fellows and a member of the Polish Literary Translators’ Association. 

Natalia Papaeva is a visual and performance artist born and raised in Buryatia (North Asia). Natalia works with the themes of language, memory, and power dynamics. She is currently a resident at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten.

Tudebei Khandama is a teacher of Buryad and Mongolian languages and an activist dedicated to the preservation of the Buryad oral and literary tradition. Employing digital technologies and civic activism, she strives for sustainable development and the safeguarding of the unique heritage of the Buryad people.

Timur Zolotoev is a curator and editor working at the intersection of contemporary art and architecture. He has collaborated on projects with Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW) and Garage Museum of Contemporary Art and served as a curator at Lkham Gallery in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia