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Film and Discussion: Exile and Imagination

Tuesday, January 29, 2019 @ 6:30 pm


Tufts University’s Department of International Literary and Cultural Studies invites you to a screening and discussion of Exile and Imagination, a one-hour documentary about the life and work of Svetlana Boym, the literary and cultural critic who was the Carl Hugo Reisinger Professor of Slavic and Comparative Literature at Harvard. The screening will be followed by a discussion between the film’s director, Judith Wechsler; Tufts Lecturer Marina Aptekman; and Anna Winestein, Executive Director of the Ballets Russes Arts Initiative.

In 1980, age 21, Svetlana Boym left the USSR for the U.S., unable to pursue studies at Leningrad University because of the Jewish quota. She went on to graduate studies at Boston University and Harvard. Exuberant, ironic and witty, Boym was a charismatic critic and teacher until her untimely death from cancer in 2015 at age 56. The film paints an image of Svetlana and her scholarly, critical and artistic contributions by weaving together videos of her lectures and interviews, photographs of her and by her, as well as interviews with family, teachers, colleagues, students and friends, including Vitaly Komar and Masha Gessen. Much of the text of this documentary draws extensively on her writings and lectures.

Judith Wechsler is an art historian who taught for many years at Tufts University and a filmmaker. She has written and directed 28 films, predominantly on art, for the Louvre, with the Comèdie francaise, for the Metropolitan Museum and others. Her newest film is Isaiah Berlin: Philosopher of Freedom.

Co-sponsored by the Ballets Russes Arts Initiative, a Boston nonprofit supporting exchange, creative collaboration and scholarship in the visual and performing arts between the U.S. and the post-Soviet region/Eastern Europe.


Tuesday, January 29, 2019
6:30 pm
Event Category:


Olin Center, Tufts University
180 Packard Ave.
Medford, 02155 United States
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