UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)

Dr Dimitra Gkitsa

Dr Dimitra Gkitsa

Alexander Nash Fellowship in Albanian Studies



Joined UCL
1st Sep 2021

Research summary

My research is situated in the intersection of memory studies, affect, activism, contemporary art and curatorial practices, and the post-socialist visual cultures, with a particular focus on the geo-political region of Southeast Europe. 

Affective Commoning

My doctorate thesis, entitled Affective Commoning: Collective Curating in the Post-socialist Space, examined art collectives and collaborative practices in Albania, Serbia, and North Macedonia. This was developed by analysing the interventionist ways in which a younger generation of artists and curators in the region work with remnants of the post-socialist past, including public spaces, material objects, unofficial histories, and testimonies. In my thesis, I propose the term 'affective commoning' as a concept tool to describe a body of art and curatorial practices that common anew spaces and temporalities of the socialist past, transforming collective 'memory-work' into affective political action. I am currently preparing a monograph, based on this research.

Ecologies of Decay

During my research fellowship at UCL SSEES, I will be researching the legacy of post-industrialism in Albania. This will be developed through three main entry points: a) collecting experiences and testimonies of local communities in rural areas; b) researching and influencing current cultural and economic policies on post-industrial heritage; c) examining artistic and curatorial interventions that work directly with the abandoned industrial sites through performances, photography, installations, and exhibitions. The aim of this research project is to shed light to a currently under-represented modern heritage of the socialist past in Albania and to investigate the ways in which the visual and material cultures of post-industrialism can help us to understand broader issues related to the social and political transformations that followed after socialism.


Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences
Masters, Master of Arts |
Goldsmiths, University of London
Masters, Master of Fine Arts |
Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences
First Degree, Bachelor of Arts |
Goldsmiths, University of London
Doctorate, Doctor of Philosophy |


I am a curator, cultural manager, and researcher. Holding postgraduate degrees in Curating (Goldsmiths, University of London) and Cultural Management (Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences, Athens), I completed doctorate studies in the department of Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London (2020). My PhD thesis analysed collective art practices in Southeast Europe. I have received scholarships from the Alexander S. Onassis Foundation (2014-2015 & 2016-2019) and the State Scholarships Foundation (IKY) of Greece (2010-2011). I hold a Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education and I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Before joining UCL SSEES as the Alexander Nash Fellow, I was an an Associate Lecturer in Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London and a Module Leader in Critical and Cultural Studies (Fine Arts) at the University of Hertfordshire. In 2019, I worked as a Research Assistant on the AHRC funded project The Museums + AI Network. Outside academia I have collaborated with numerous non-for-profit art and cultural organisations, including the British Council in Athens and the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London, and I was involved in various aspects of public programming. Selected projects include: Machine Divas: The Archive (2015), Artists what is your collective value? (2015), Legacies of Cyberfeminism (2016).