Africans in the Soviet Union. Visions of the future, memories of the past
This project is a fictional intervention into the past and pr
esents three documents. The first is a letter written by Kwawe Paintsil Ansah from Ghana in 1961, applying for a scholarship in the Soviet Union in 1961. The letter is part of the research archive of researcher Constantin Katsakioris. Ansah’s text describes the aspirations that made him consider Moscow in the context of Socialist Friendship at the utopian moment of African independence. His document is combined with a fictional letter: a response written by literary scholar Gilbert Ndi Shang which rejects/suspends Ansah’s application. The third text is a further response in form of a poem by the Mozambican writer Luís Carlos Patraquim. This fictional collage speaks about dreams and visions of a past future, its limitations and potential from the perspective of the present. The historic photographs displayed depict African students in Moscow and Kiev and add a visual layer. One in particular stands out, taken during the 1963 demonstration, when students protested against the unresolved deathcase of fellow student Edmund Asare-Addo.