Anna Fech studied art history and economics at the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen. In 2014, she graduated at the Zurich University of the Arts in MAS CURATING with a focus on postcolonial discussion in exhibition practice related to post-soviet countries. From 2016 to 2021 she worked as curator for YARAT Contemporary Art Space (Azerbaijan) being responsible for the international residency program and ARTIM PROJECT Space directed at young artists with an intention to support and encourage emergent talent to grow.
Elsewhere East: Socially Engaged Art and Digital Network Culture
„The research topic I chose for my PhD project is inspired by my own curatorial work and my observations of different political systems that raised my concerns about ideology conveyed by art. It made me more sensitive towards representations of power, which pretend to make the world a better place in the name of democracy and social engagement but run the risk of repeating imperialist patterns. Against this background, my PhD research will be focusing on the question: Can socially engaged art act through digital networks without falling prey to ideological concepts? It aims to discuss how alternative models of socially engaged art can be defined and function within the post-communist context considering as a point of reference for initial research: the regions of Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic, Croatia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. In order to obtain a more comprehensive and diverse view on the topic, the dissertation actively investigates perspectives from the former communist countries that go beyond European borders. The interaction of social media, the democratic agenda and political activism will be examined in more detail, involving voices from less known theorists of the post-soviet space. Furthermore the PhD will form an attempt to reformulate strategies of social digital engagement at the intersection of quantum physics and social sciences. Can the world be influenced in a different way rather than through social activism? Can alternative strategies be found in inherited mythologies or cultural practices of Eastern and Central Europe to approach social engagement differently? What role can digital networks play within this context?“