Queer in Space: Kollontai Commune Archive
directed by Georgy Mamedov (School of Theory and Activism - Bishkek), Kyrgyzstan 2015, 10'
School of Theory and Activism in Bishkek (SHTAB) is a research institute, whose myriad activities comprise queer and communist history remembrance projects in Central Asia. This film, by Georgy Mamedov and Oksana Shatalova, is one such project; and a celebration of the forgotten Kollontai Commune, which gathered queer workers in Bishkek in the 1970s. Named after Aleksandra Kollontai, a Bolshevik feminist activist, who sought alternative family models during the 17-year period when homosexuality was not persecuted by state authorities, the Kollontai Commune is rediscovered by the filmmakers. Archival materials serve here as a canvas to create speculative narratives that place trans, nonbinary and gender-nonconforming people’s experiences in historical context.