Masha Godovannaya

Balancing on the Edges:
Screened Forms of [M]otherhood, Queer Kinship and Artivist Feminist Resistance
In the wake of “classical” texts, including Esther Newton’s “Mother Camp” (1972) and Kath Weston’s “Families We Choose” (1991), studies of non-heterosexual kinship have entered gender theory and LGBTQI+ studies. The phenomena of Queer Kinship has been explored as an alternative model of family/intimate arrangements to traditional monogamous heterosexual marriage and refers to more diverse and complex social structures, configuration and practices of intimacies between people.
However, there remains an incongruity: a gap, between theory and practice, between what you think, read, reflect on, and what you experience and practice as a human being, as a subject of social relations. For me, as a visual artivist, queer-feminist social researcher, mother, and educator, it is the latter aspect that needs to be explored and articulated.
Working with a variety of non-nuclear, non-heterosexual, non-monogamous family arrangements with children in Austria and Russia, my artistic research looks for ways and strategies in which the daily practices of “non-normative” intimacies and the upbringing of children might be implicated as forms of political resistance to the power discourse of heteronormative white supremacy through the social actors involved in such relationships.
Masha Godovannaya is a visual artist, queer-feminist researcher, curator, and educator, born in Moscow, Russia.  Masha considers her films and installations audiovisual experiences blending personal, subjective elements with more concrete observations of the external world and social context. Approaching art production as collective action, her artistic practice is closely connected to artistic research and draws on combinations of approaches and spheres such as moving image theory, sociology, political science, gender theory, feminist studies, queer theory, and contemporary art. Her works have been exhibited and screened at Center Georges Pompidou, Rotterdam Film Festival, the Tate Modern, Oberhausen International Film Festival, London Film Festival Manifesta-10, 7th Liverpool Biennial, etc.; her curatorial projects have been presented at different venues such as, Anthology Film Archives, Cinematexas Film Festival, Independent Film Show E-M Arts, Moscow International Film Festival, Avanto Film Festival, Amsterdam Film Center, etc.
She holds MFA degree in Film/Video from Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts, Bard College, New York, and MA in Sociology from European University in St. Petersburg, Russia.
At the end of 2015 together with group of artists, activists, and social researches from St. Petersburg, Russia, she co-founded a queer-feminist affinity art group “Unwanted Organisation” (
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