Yaniya Mikhalina

Decolonial documentary practice: artistic strategies on redirecting the gaze


Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim Academy of Fine Art

Over the course of my artistic research project I have worked across different strategies and layers of understanding document and documentary film practice in relation to a globalitarian colonial context and the overlapping wounds, scars, holes, affects on the bodies and psyches it continuously produces. In this reality, the role of the gaze, who, how, for whom and where looks at, becomes paramount, as it shapes the borders of modern subjectivity. As a Volga Tatar artist and a Russian citizen living and working in Norway, I have been constantly challenged to build knowledge around my work and home. Decolonial documentary practice has become a form that attempts to embody feminist and female perspectives; colonial fantasies; indigenous time; archival and staged elements; forgotten and repressed worlds; social and subjective psychotic experiences; songs and things; camering, editing and overwriting; epistemic differences that are non-translatable but yet have the right to co-exist – including the right to be mad.

Yaniya Mikhalina (she/her) is a Volga Tatar artist and researcher living in Norway, working within postcolonial contexts of documentary and the ways reality is produced, represented and abandoned in it. Her work seeks to assist translocal, translinguistic and transpsychic proximity and solidarity. She is a PhD candidate and lecturer at the Trondheim Art Academy, NTNU.




Artistic Research Spring Forum 2024

3d presentation

In my final presentation for the Artistic Research Forum, I will move backwards in my journey, making necessary detours, required by the non-linear logic of psychic time, along the way, in an attempt to build a narrative that doesn't create a hierarchy from the heterogeneous elements of my research, equally important in and through their diversity and openness for the processes without dismissing the concrete forms of the result.