The Soviet-Third World Cultural Nexus

Would there have been a Third World without the Second? Although most historians write about these geopolitical blocs in reference to the West, the interdependence of the Second and Third Worlds remains a historical blind spot. This interconnection was evident in the production of Third World literature and cinema vis-à-vis the Soviet organized Afro-Asian Writers Association and the Tashkent Festival for African, Asian, and Latin American Film. While the cultural alliances between the Second and the Third World never achieved their stated aim – the literary and cinematic independence from the West. They did forge links that allowed now-canonical postcolonial authors, texts, and films to circulate across the non-Western world until the end of the Cold War. Here’s Rossen Djagalov with that story.


Rossen Djagalov is an Assistant Professor of Russian at New York University and a member of the editorial collective of LeftEast. His interests lie in socialist culture globally and, more specifically, in the linkages between cultural producers and audiences in the USSR and abroad. His new book is From Internationalism to Postcolonialism: Literature and Cinema between the Second and the Third Worlds published by McGill-Queen’s University Press.


Grand Kalle & African Jazz, “Miwela Miwela”