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18 & 19 March 2023 Book Klup #2 ~ Natalia Papaeva and Masha Krasnova Shabaeva

18.03.2022 | 14:00 – 17:00

+ Performative interventions

19.03.2022 | 16:00 – 18:00

+ Artist talks

On the occasion of Art Central Rotterdam, we present Boek Klup #2, featuring artists Natalia Papaeva and Masha Krasnova-Shabaeva.

Inspired by Natalia’s encounter with linguistic slippages in her mother tongue, Saturday’s event presents a series of spontaneous performances in and around PrintRoom. These playful sequences emerge from questions such as: how to bridge communication when faced with linguistic limitations? How can we embrace misunderstandings and physical gestures as part of the process of understanding one another? These experimental, semi-improvised interventions reflect a gesture of thinking-in-progess — a re-imagining of language as a meandering medium, resisting all expectations of efficiency or precision. 

The collaborative process draws on the artists’ shared interest in the crucial role of language in shaping collective identity and personal memory. On Sunday, Natalia and Masha will engage in a conversation, examining the complexity of language in relation to identity, intergenerational relations, and reclaiming heritage.

Natalia Papaeva, photo by Jana Romanova

Masha’s new publication Colonial Banality will also be on show in a group exhibition at Baanhof from 17 March – 9 April. More information can be found on Art Central Rotterdam’s website. It will also be available for sale in PrintRoom. Proceeds from the sale of the publication will be donated to humanitarian aid support in Ukraine. 

Through ethnographic recollections and illustrations, Colonial Banality critically scrutinises the impact of colonial mechanisms on ethnic minority communities throughout Russia’s history. As the child of a Tartar-Bashkir mother and a Russian father, Masha’s family history intimately reflects the everyday powerplays of nationalist politics. Her illustrations recount the collision of childhood naivety and the realisation of colonial violence. In the words of Ukrainian director Oleksiy Radynski: “Russian culture deserves a much harsher punishment than a boycott. It deserves deconstruction. To deconstruct Russian-speaking culture is to question the existing pantheon…’ Colonial Banality is Masha’s deconstruction of the imperialist culture and intolerance that surrounded her childhood.

About the artists

Born and raised in a mountainous region in the west of Buryatia, visual and performance artist Natalia Papaeva has been living and working in the Netherlands since 2013. Buryat-Mongolian oral tradition is central to her practice, helping her create poignant artworks that address such themes as loss and mourning, land and climate, language, racism, and identity. Drawing from her own memories and experiences, she creates performances, in which she combines singing, the spoken word, and storytelling.

Masha Krasnova-Shabaeva is a visual artist and illustrator, based in Rotterdam since 2009. She grew up in Ufa, the capital of  Bashkortostan – a region that became occupied by the Russian Empire in the 16th Century. She describes her practice as a crossover of fine art and illustration, working as both an editorial illustrator for international publishing houses and as an independent artist for galleries and museums. Since 2019 she teaches illustration at Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam, NL. 

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