ZOiS Research Colloquium

Between (in)visibility and (self-)exotisation: the queer post-Soviet diaspora in Germany

Masha Beketova, Institute for Slavic Studies, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.


In 2010, Borchardt argued that lesbian Russophone migrants in Germany were consolidating and building communities in very subtle ways. In comparison to other queer migrant communities, Russophone lesbians seemed to avoid political identities and gathered around club culture. Positive self-identifications and empowerment were possible almost only through non-verbal practices, euphemistic communities, and practices of belonging. Ten years later we can speak not only about the evolving post-Soviet LGBTIQ+ migrant movement, but also about internal differences, hierarchies, and multiple political self-identifications. These phenomena are still overlooked in queer diaspora and post-soviet migration research. Which self-determined counter-discourses of queer post-Soviet diaspora exist beyond the dichotomy of invisibility and (self-)exotisation? What can we learn about the German ‘Dominanzkultur’ and post-Soviet queerness through the diasporic perspective? This talk reflects on the spatiality and temporality of the queer post-Soviet diaspora in Germany.


ZOiS Research Colloquium

In cooperation with the Freie Universität Berlin, the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, and the Europa-Universität Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder), the Centre for East European and International Studies (ZOiS) is inviting scholars to participate in a new multidisciplinary research colloquium starting in the 2021 summer semester. The colloquium is intended to serve as a forum to discuss work in progress by PhD candidates, postdocs, and established researchers whose work in the social sciences focuses on Eastern Europe. The aim is to establish a permanent meeting point in the Berlin-Brandenburg area for people engaged in research on Eastern Europe. The research colloquium will take place online every second Wednesday at 6pm during the semester. We will send the access data shortly before the beginning of each session.

If you wish to participate, please register with Anja Krüger (events(at)zois-berlin(dot)de).


  • Prof. Dr. Gwendolyn Sasse, Zentrum für Osteuropa- und internationale Studien
  • Prof. Dr. Katharina Bluhm, Freie Universität Berlin
  • Prof. Dr. Sabine Kropp, Freie Universität Berlin
  • Prof. Dr. Silvia von Steinsdorff, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
  • Prof. Dr. Timm Beichelt, Europa-Universität Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder)
  • Prof. Alexander Libman, Freie Universität Berlin


Anja Krüger
Communications Coordinator