The newest Russian poetic avant-garde wields highly aware appropriations and remediations in stark opposition to mainstream cultural phenomena, including nostalgia for the imperial and militant aestheticized politics of the Soviet Union. Efforts to think leftward beyond the state socialist past to a global egalitarian future challenge both Russian and “Western” narratives in our increasingly interconnected world. The Georgian-born Russian-language poet Keti Chukhrov, in particular, theorizes powerlessness in deeply local yet globally familiar ways. Despite the many voices rumbling through her work, Chukhrov’s theses are consistent: art must be communist; all desire, even faked, is political eros; and the post-Soviet subject is not even dead. Chukhrov embeds her politics in institutional critique, lends her labor to collectives and collaborations, and refracts her poetic voice into multitudes.

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