Secret Years: A Screening and Discussion with the Filmmakers
Admission is free. Reservations required. RSVP at the links below beginning Tuesday, February 4, at 9am.
LGBTQ culture in Eastern Europe was transformed in the liberal post-Soviet era. Today, a turn toward reactionary political and religious ideologies is threatening the recently found freedom of queer Eastern Europe. A two-part series will explore queer culture, activism, and contemporary histories in the region.
During the repressive Cold War era, most lesbians in Hungary lived clandestine lives. After the fall of communism in 1989, lesbians experienced a brief period of openness. Today, growing hostility to sexual minorities has again forced many lesbians in Hungary to hide their identities. Secret Years is a 2009 documentary that includes rare interviews with multiple generations of lesbians living in Hungary. The first Hungarian documentary of its kind, Secret Years explores lesbian responses to the successive waves of repression, openness and radical conservatism that have shaped Hungarian society in the recent past. The screening will be followed by a discussion with filmmakers Anna Borgos and Mária Takács moderated by Anastasia Kayiatos, Visiting Professor of Russian and Women’s Studies at Macalester College.
Anna Borgos is a Hungarian psychologist and women’s historian. Her work explores Hungarian women intellectuals of the early twentieth century as well as feminist and LGBTQ history and activism. She holds a PhD from the University of Pécs, Hungary; she is a fellow at the Research Institute for Psychology, Budapest, and a founding member of Labrisz Lesbian Association, a community-based initiative for organizing among lesbian and bisexual women in Hungary. Her latest book, Nemek kozott. Notortenet, szexualitastortenet (Between Sexes: Women’s History, Sexuality History) came out in 2013. Borgos co-edited a volume of lesbian autobiographical writings Elohivott onarckepek: Leszbikus nok oneletrajzi irasai (Developed Self-Portraits: Lesbian Women’s Autobiographical Writings) and a volume of interviews with elderly Hungarian lesbians, Eltitkolt evek: Tizenhat leszbikus eletut (Secret Years: Sixteen Lesbian Lives).
Anastasia Kayiatos earned a PhD in Slavic and Women’s Studies from UC Berkeley, where she also ran interdisciplinary working groups on disability studies and Socialisms & Sexualities from 2008-2012. Selections from her dissertation on silence and alterity in post-Stalin Russia have been published in Women’s Studies Quarterly and Theatre Survey (in English), the Journal of Social Policy Studies (in Russian), and Astrolabio (in Spanish). Before moving into the polar vortex of the Midwest last fall for a visiting position in Russian, Women’s Studies and Critical Theory at Macalester College, Professor Kayiatos was soaking up the So-Cal sun and lush intellectual life at USC as a Provost’s postdoctoral fellow in the humanities. She continues to chip away at a book manuscript on silent performances of sexual difference in the Soviet Union, tentatively titled Suggestive Gestures: Toward a Queer Socialist Aesthetic.
Mária Takács is a filmmaker who has been making community-focused, socially conscious films for nearly fifteen years, many related to the LGBTQ community. Her film Secret Years has screened at the Verzio International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival and ERSTE Foundation, among other venues. Her other films include Bandage, Socks and Facial Hair and Eklektika Dance School.