Ieva Astahovska is an art scholar, critic, and curator. She works at the Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art, where she leads research projects related to art and culture in the socialist and post-socialist period in the Baltic states and Eastern Europe, and entanglements between post-socialist and postcolonial perspectives to this region’s history. She has curated a number of exhibitions and edited research-based publications including Valdis Āboliņš. The Avant-Garde, Mailart, the New Left, and Cultural Relations during the Cold War (Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art, 2019).
This essay revisits the starting points of the project Communicating Difficult Pasts, which was initiated in 2018 while searching for new ways to artistically and curatorially explore the twentieth-century history of the Baltic region and its ongoing impact.