Creating the Self and Artistic Production in Immigration: Les Films Albatros in Montreuil and Association CRICAO in Toulouse

CGS Brown Bag Lecture Series
Nov 13, 2013
01:30 PM to 02:30 PM
101 Old Botany

Anna Navrotskaya, French and Francophone Studies, Penn State

Is there such a thing as “true identity”? Is it created or discovered? Is it a solitary endeavor of an individual consciousness to achieve its “authentic state”, as thought Martin Heidegger, or is it a continuous work both conditioned and necessitated by the relationship with the other, as suggested Emmanuel Lévinas? Is it ever-lasting or ever-changing? All these questions are essential for any attempt to approach the role of creativity in the process of self-identification. Artistic production, and specifically, artistic production in immigration or exile, is not an exception to be considered separately from everyday life, but an example that can clarify human way of being in the world. This presentation will attempt to demonstrate the possibility to consider creativity as one of the fundamental elements of human condition, which in its turn would allow seeing art as an integral part of our everyday existence rather than an exceptional activity for the chosen few. Two research cases that will help to support and illustrate the theory are those of Russian filmmakers who worked in Montreuil and Paris in 1920s and 1930s – Les Films Albatros, and musicians and storytellers from Francophone Africa in nowadays Toulouse – Association CRICAO.

Anna is a doctoral candidate (ABD) in the Department of French and Francophone Studies, whose dissertation treats the questions of creativity, self-identification, and artistic production in immigration. Her main research interests include performance theory, philosophy of art, theater studies and film theory. She has long been fascinated by the process of myth-creation and published an article related to the subject in the Cahiers du Monde Russe (46/1-2, January-June 2005, p. 297-304) entitled “Aleksandr Nevskii: Hagiography and National Biography”.

This lecture is a part of the Center for Global Studies Brown Bag Graduate Lecture Series which focuses on interdisciplinary graduate research.

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