SOAS University of London

Department of the History of Art and Archaeology, School of Arts

Kasia Ploskonka

BFA (The Art Institute of Chicago), MA (Manchester/Sotheby's)
  • Research


Kasia Ploskonka
Kasia Ploskonka
Email address:
Thesis title:
Contesting convention? The politics of contemporary art in post-Soviet Central Asia
Year of Study:
Internal Supervisors


A humanities and culture professional I have nine years of experience working on the planning, implementation and delivery stages of time critical projects across the international cultural sector, in particular fine arts fairs.

Previously, I studied at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago where I completed the BFA program with an Emphasis in Art History, Theory & Criticism and the Sotheby's Institute of Art - London MA program in Contemporary Art.

My PhD is positioned on the interchange of contemporary art and politics within a post-Soviet Central Asian context.

PhD Research

At its broadest level my research is looking at contemporary art produced after the dissolution of the USSR in 1991 up to 2016 within the Central Asian region, specifically: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. The main research question is what agency do artistic practices within Central Asia have as they negotiate through a post-Soviet condition, one that is being shaped trough the relationship of politics and cultural production?

This thesis will examine the politics of artistic practices in which engagement with the political in an arena of state cultural production asks how artists question conventions and what strategies do they use. With a Social art history and post-Structuralist methodology, specifically posited in Alfred Gell’s Art and Agency (1998) where art is claimed as a form of instrumental action, the thesis will address the role of agency and autonomy in contemporary art within the Central Asian region.


Mankurtism, Monuments and Marketing: Identity and power in Post-Soviet contemporary art of Central Asia. The SOAS Journal of Postgraduate Research, Volume 9 (2015-16), Pages 47-64.


My interests are in contemporary art and visual culture as they relate to topics of politics and globalization.

  • Agency & autonomy
  • Contemporary Art
  • Art & Politics
  • Art & Globalization
  • Central Asia