Spring/Summer Program 2022

Children’s books and curricula have often been a hot-button, polemical issue: an ideal platform to elaborate and instill ideological positions, be they from the left and/or right. Former socialist nations in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia have a particularly rich tradition of children’s literature, as part of an effort to create solidarity amongst different peoples and cultures. However, we know how that story ended. Today, a critical 21st-century look at this legacy reveals several shortcomings concerning race, sexuality, and gender. Azbuka Strikes Back, the spring and summer 2022 public program at Pickle Bar, looks at the visual, rhetorical, and ideological tools underlying children’s publications with an aim to decolonize, revise, and queer the heritage of avant-garde education with a series of lectures, performances, workshops, and podcasts by international artists, researchers, poets.

The program is supported by Haupstadtkulturfonds, by Berlin Senat für Kultur und Europa. Uladzimir Hramovich, “Learning to Lose", 2022


5 May, 18:30
Artiom Slota, “Child education as a strategy of decolonization” lecture

14 May, 16:00
Madina Zholdybekova, “Rethinking Dolls (and Agniya Barto)”, workshop

28 May, 16:00
Nika Dubrovsky, “Anthropology for Kids: An Introduction of the Book Series”, a workshop and a conversation full of pictures and stories about what does it mean to be human

2 June, 18:30
Uladzimir Hramovich, “Soviet and post-Soviet Belarusian illustration: it says more than a history book!”, lecture

10 June, 18:30
Kimberly St. Julian-Varnon, “The Azbuka of Race: Blackness and Racial Imaginaries in Early Soviet Children's Books”, lecture

8 July, 18:30
Oscar Brenifier, “Thinking with Hodja Nasreddin”, workshop

9 July, 16:30
Harri Kraievets, “Perhaps Your Neighbor is Omar Khayyam! The Art of Asking Questions”, workshop

3 September, 16:30
Alevtina Kakhidze, “AZBUKA of plants STRIKES BACK to humans”, workshop