Oksana Sarkisova

Visiting Professor

Contact information

Budapest, Arany Janos u. 32

Dr. Oksana Sarkisova is Research Fellow at Blinken OSA Archivum at Central European University, Director of Verzio International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival, Budapest, and co-founder of Visual Studies Platform at CEU. Her fields of research are cultural history, memory and representation, film history, amateur photography, and visual studies. She authored In Visible Presence: Soviet Afterlives in Family Photos (with Olga Shevchenko, 2023), Screening Soviet Nationalities: Kulturfilms from the Far North to Central Asia (2017), co-edited Past for the Eyes: East European Representations of Communism in Cinema and Museums after 1989 (2008), and has published in peer-reviewed journals and collective volumes on film history, nationality politics, contemporary Russian and Eastern European cinema, and amateur photography. She teaches courses on documentary cinema, film history, visual studies, and memory politics. She directed CEU Summer University Programs Documentary Cinema in the Digital Century (2013), Screened Memories: Historical Narratives and Contemporary Visual Culture (2016), and Fields of Vision: Memory, Identity, and Images of the Past (2019),  participated as tutor and invited faculty in the workshop series Cinema Without Borders (by Movies that Matter HRIFF), Summer School on Cinema and Human Rights (Galway), This is Film! 2023. Film Heritage in Practice public lecture series (by Eye Filmmuseum, Amsterdam), among others. She served as Jury member at several International Film Festivals, including those in Nuremberg, Kyiv, Zagreb, Warsaw, Tbilisi, Linz, the Hague, Ljubljana, Graz, and Vienna.

Select publications:


Book Chapters

  • "À travers l’URSS avec une caméra : la construction de l’espace dans les premiers travelogues soviétiques" in Ciné-expéditions: une zone de contact cinématographique. ed. Caroline Damiens (Paris: AFRHC, 2022), pp 73-93.

  • "Travel, Space and Belonging in Soviet Cold War Domestic Photo Collections" (with Olga Shevchenko) in Phu, T., Noble, A., & Duganne, E. D. (Eds.). Cold War Camera. Duke University Press, 2022, pp. 293-326.
  • “Soviet Heroes and Jewish Victims: One Family's Memories of the Second World War” (with Olga Shevchenko), in Silke Arnold-de Simine and Joanne Leal (eds.), Picturing the Family: Media, Narrative, Memory. London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2018.
  • “The Album as Performance: Notes on the Limits of the Visible” (with Olga Shevchenko) , in Julie Cassiday, Julie Buckler and Boris Wolfson (eds.), Russian Performances: Word, Object, Action. University of Wisconsin Press, 2018.
  • “A History of One Friendship. Vladimir Erofeev and Nikolai Lebedev, from Associates to Rivals” in Joan Neuberger and Antonio Somaini (eds.), The Flying Carpet: Studies on Eisenstein and Russian Cinema in Honor of Naum Kleiman. Paris: Éditions Mimésis, 2017, pp. 367-388.
  • “The Adventures of the kulturfilm in Soviet Russia” in Birgit Beumers (ed.), A Companion to Russian Cinema, Wiley-Blackwell, 2016.
  • “Arctic Travelogues: Conquering the Soviet North” in Scott MacKenzie, Anna Stenport (eds.) Films on Ice: Cinemas of the Arctic. Edinburgh University Press, 2015, pp. 222-234.
  • “Soviet Past in Domestic Photography: Events, Evidence, Erasure” (with Olga Shevchenko) in Olga Shevchenko (ed.) Double Exposure: Memory and Photography. Transaction Publishers, 2014, pp. 147-176.
  • “Sing with Us, Spend like Us! Images of Consumption in East European Musical Films during the Cold War” in Magdalina Waligorska (ed.), Music, Longing and Belonging: Articulations of the Self and the Other in the Musical Realm. Cambridge Scholar Publishers, 2013, pp. 12-27.
  • “Soviet Cultural Policy in Musical Theatre and Cinema, 1917-1938” in Philipp Ther (ed), Die Geschichte der Kulturpolitik. Die kontinentalen Imperien in Europa im Vergleich. (Die Gesellschaft der Oper. Musikkultur europäischer Metropolen im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert Band 10) Wien – Köln – Weimar: Oldenburg Böhlau 2012.
  • “Filming a Liveable Past: The 1970s–80s in Contemporary Russian Cinema” in Stefan Berger, Chris Lorenz, and Billie Melman (eds.), Popularizing National Pasts, 1800 to the Present.New York, London: Routledge, 2012, pp 249-266.
  • “Cine-intellectuals or cine-proletariat? Ideological Allegiances and Professional Identities in early Soviet Cinema,” in: Fiona Björling & Alexander Pereswetoff-Morath (eds), Words, Deeds and Values: the Intelligentsias in Russia and Poland during the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Lund: LundUniversity, Dept. of East and Central European Studies, 2005, pp. 253-68.
  • “Inter-national Loyalties: A/Olexander Dovzhenko’s Films in the Context of the Nationality Policy in Soviet Ukraine in the 1920s” in: Peter Roubal and Vaclav Veber (eds.), Prague Perspectives (I). History of East Central Europe and Russia. Prague, 2004, pp. 237-254.
  • “Long Farewells: The Anatomy of the Soviet Past in Contemporary Russian Cinema” in Oksana Sarkisova and Péter Apor (eds.) Past for the Eyes: East European Representations of Communism in Cinema and Museums after 1989, Budapest: CEU Press, 2008, pp. 143-180. 

Journal Articles 

  • "Seeing in Focus: Snapshots of the Visual Turn" (with Olga Shevchenko) in: Russian Review 81/4 (2022): 617-620.

  • “Taming the frontier: Alexander Litvinov’s expedition films and representations of indigenous minorities in the Far East,” in Studies in Russian and Soviet Cinema,  9:1 (2015): 2-23
  •  “Searching for a Soviet Past: Amateur Photography and Family Memory”, Novoe Literaturnoe Obozrenie 131 (2015) (in Russian, with Olga Shevchenko)
  • “‘They came, shot everyone, and that’s the end of it’: Local Memory, Amateur Photography, and the Legacy of State Violence in Novocherkassk” Slavonica Vol. 17 (2011) (with Olga Shevchenko).
  • “Folk Songs in Soviet Orchestration: Vostokfil'm’s Song of Happiness and the forging of the New Soviet Musician” in Studies of Russian and Soviet Cinema 4:3 (2010): 261-281.
  • “Between Elias and Foucault: Discipline, Photography, and the Soviet Childhood”, Social Psychology Quarterly 73 (2010): 1-4 (with Olga Shevchenko).
  • “The Soviet Past in Amateur Photography: The Work of Memory and Forgetting,” Otechestvennye Zapiski 4 (43) 2008, pp. 205-217 (with Olga Shevchenko, in Russian).
  • “Across One Sixth of the World: Dziga Vertov, Travel Cinema, and Soviet Patriotism” in October 121 (2007): 19-40.
  • “Life As It Should Be? Early Non-fiction Cinema in Russia,” Medien und Zeit 1 (2003): 41-61.
  • “Early Soviet Kulturfilms: the ‘cine-conquest’ of Caucasus,” Kulturologicheskie Zapiski, 1 (2003) (in Russian).
  • “Archäologie eines vergessenen Konzepts: discursive und institutionelle Entwiklung des  Kulturfilms in Russland,” Spurensuche. “Zauber der Exotik”: Aspekte ihrer Popularisierung Heft 1-4  (2002): 64-89.
  • “Tell Me Who Your Enemy Is. Chechen War in Russian Cinema,” Neprikosnovennyi Zapas, 26/6 (2002): 94-101.
  • “Edges of Empire: Representations of Borderland Identities in Early Soviet Cinema” in: Ab Imperio 1 (2000): 167-186.
  • “Present Perfect or Present Progressive? Temporality in Early Soviet Avant-Garde Visual Arts,” in: Helena Goscilo and Michael Brewer (eds), Studies in Slavic Cultures 1 (2000): 103-132. 

Encyclopaedia and Handbook Entries 

  • "Views from the Roof of the World: 1920s Soviet Film Expeditions to the Pamir Mountains" in Valerie Kivelson, Sergei Kozlov, Joan Neuberger (eds), Picturing Russian Empire. Oxford University Press, 2023, forthcoming
  • “A Sixth Part of the World,” Pamir: Roof of the World,” “In Spring,” “The Court of Honour” entries in Birgit Beumers (ed.), Directory of World Cinema: Russia 2, 2015.
  • “Conflicting Pasts: Programming Retrospectives at the Verzio Film Festival” in Alex Marlow-Mann (ed.) Archival Film Festivals. Film Festival Yearbook 5. St Andrews Film Studies, 2013.
  •  “Vertov the Traveller: a Modern Nomad” in Thomas Tode and Barbara Wurm (eds), Dziga Vertov. The Vertov Collection at the Austrian Film Museum. Vienna: Österreichisches Filmmuseum, 2006, pp. 17-21.
  • “Grenzeprojektionen: Bilder von Grenzgebieten im sowjetischen Film” in: Die Wieser Enzyklopädie des europäischen Ostens, volume XI, edited by Karl Kaser, Dagmar Gramshammer-Hohl, Robert Pichler. Klagenfurt: Wieser-Verlag, 2003, pp 439-467.


WHY FILM MATTERS, Podcast for Review of Democracy, DI CEU, 2022



Ph.D. Summa Cum Laude, History Department, Central European University, Budapest
M.A. in Nationalism Studies, Central European University, Budapest