This essay explores alternative forms of political solidarity through a poiesis of longing that connects the Soviet aligned “South” in Kyrgyzstan and nonaligned “South” in decolonizing Algeria through a reading of two love stories by the Kyrgyz author and diplomat Chingiz Aitmatov, writing in 1958 on the periphery of the Soviet Union, and Algerian poet and political leader Malek Haddad, writing a year later amid the Algerian War of Independence. Tracing the relationships between Global Souths, which included institutional and personal networks that persisted despite an often tense ideological divide between the Soviet aligned and nonaligned nations, I render visible the relationship between two genealogies of anti-imperial thinking born from the nonaligned Bandung and the lesser known Soviet affiliate, the Afro-Asian Writers’ Association. In this way, I argue that the Global South is more than a place; it is a set of relations that structure a political consciousness through a longing or desire for (non)alignment.
Global Souths: Toward a Materialist Poetics of Alignment
Leah Feldman is assistant professor of comparative literature at the University of Chicago. She is the author of On the Threshold of Eurasia: Orientalism and Revolutionary Aesthetics in the Caucasus (2018). Her current research interests include affect in late Soviet film and theater from Central Asia and the Caucasus, as well as the rise of the New Right in post-Soviet Eastern Europe and Eurasia.
Leah Feldman; Global Souths: Toward a Materialist Poetics of Alignment. boundary 2 1 May 2020; 47 (2): 199–225. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/01903659-8193326
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