only search openDemocracy.net

“You wanted civil society? Well, now you’ve got it”

MK_oDR-1_0_0.jpg

Amid Russia’s conservative turn, a new brand of conservative civil society is mobilising against freedom of expression. Русский

 

The green shoots of Russian grassroots activism (part 2)

Our story on Russia’s grassroots activism continues. From Moscow’s parks to federal highways, ordinary citizens learn the power of protest  and of solidarity.

The green shoots of Russian grassroots activism

What do two Moscow parks and a truck drivers’ trade union have in common? They have been the focus of protests that have shown that the Russian public may be losing its traditional passivity.

Burning doors: a new touring play documents repressions of Russian artists

This new play charts the fate of artists in contemporary Russia. It’s a brave endeavour, and it’s boldly staged — but could it be bolder still?

Book review: Veiled and unveiled in Chechnya and Dagestan

This new book aims to “unveil” society in Chechnya and Dagestan — instead, it’s a perfect guide of how not to write about the North Caucasus.

Russian culture through Lviv’s looking glass

They may not love Putin in Lviv, but the people of this western Ukrainian city have nothing against Russian culture. Русский, Українською

Meet Anatol Matasaru, Moldova’s one-man Pussy Riot

matasaru-porcuratura-curaj.jpg

Fed up with Moldova’s corruption and inertia, this protest artist is searching for new limits in political art. He now faces prison time for his work.

The ordinary, yet exceptional people of Russia’s provinces

A significant part of Russia remains unknown to many of its citizens — mainstream media have no interest in the provinces. This photoblog captures a provincial life otherwise left behind. Русский

On prison and liberty: an interview with Pyotr Pavlensky

RIAN_02735274.LR_.ru_.jpg

Russia’s leading performance artist on prison and liberty. Русский

 

 

Book Review: Sasha Sokolov’s ‘A School for Fools’

A Soviet underground classic is back in print. In a school for fools, fighting conformity requires confronting the Soviet system—and our inner demons.

 

 

Svetlana Alexievich: the pain and dignity of life in the Soviet experiment

RIAN_02714719.LR_.ru_.jpg

The work of Belarusian Nobel Prize winner Svetlana Alexievich creates a space for voices unheard and ignored. We should be wary of claims to own it. на русском языке

 

Film review: ‘Grozny Blues’ (dir. Nicola Bellucci)

Grozny Blues is a haunting, often dreamlike documentary about Chechen people caught between the contradictory pressures of manufactured realities and coerced silences.

Film review: 'Moskvitch, My Love' (dir. Aram Shahbazyan)

As a testament to Soviet nostalgia, the plot of Moskvitch, My Love is peculiar: a father's blind pursuit of a car he can neither afford nor drive, hoping for a son who will never return.

 

Book review: Alisa Ganieva, 'The Mountain and the Wall'

The Mountain and the Wall is the first Dagestani novel to be published in English. Ganieva is very courageous to write about what is happening in her native country, thinly veiled in the traditional Russian literary use of fiction.

 

Book review: Mikhail Shishkin, 'Calligraphy Lesson'

‘Only art is capable of creating moments where our “unreal”, mortal time intersects with its “real” counterpart,’ says Shishkin.

 

Samizdat in Samara

RIAN_00093275.LR_.ru_.jpgValery Pavlukevich, who recently passed away, was a regular contributor to oDR. In his last appearance on these pages, he tells Michael Lawrence about the samizdat scene in his home city of Kuibyshev, now Samara.

Georgian fiction – in translation at last

Georgia_Mural (MEdwards).pngAt last, we can read what we have been missing – a literature as unpredictable as Georgian politics.

 

Documenting Ukraine

As we end four days devoted to documentary cinema, theatre and debate in London, never have documentary forms had such an important role to play.

Can feminist art free women from patriarchy in Eastern Europe?

Pic 2.jpgAs post-Soviet states continue their 'conservative turn', feminist artists stand up to address gender injustice in Belarus, Russia and Ukraine.

 

Book review: Mikhail Elizarov, ‘The Librarian’

Cover_Elizarov_Librarian.pngMikhail Elizarov has written a highly imaginative satire on the dichotomy in the post-Soviet Russian psyche, populated by the detritus of modern Russia.

 

Book review: Hamid Ismailov ‘The Underground’

Cover_Ismailov_TheUnderground.pngIn The Underground, like his mixed-race hero, Hamid Ismailov is looking, above and below ground, for the answer to the question: what is 'Russianness'?

 

Times of war in Russian arts and culture

Garagecrop.jpgIn times of war, what can Russian arts and culture do to withstand interventions by the Russian state? An exhibition at Garage in Moscow could provide an answer.

Writing poetry in Russia is a dangerous profession

Anti-Putin_graffiti_in_Luhansk,_April_2014.jpg

Aleksandr Byvshev, a schoolteacher from Russia’s Oryol region, is on trial for writing a poem opposing the annexation of Crimea.

 

 

Bring the humanities back!

shutterstock_200688782.jpg

The EU's technocratic approach to Ukraine sleepwalked us into a crisis. We need popular culture to make foreign policy smart.

 

Exhibition review: 'Borderlands' (GRAD, London)

Installation image of Borderlands with Zhanna Kadyrova, Untitled, 2014, Photo Sophia Schorr-Kon, Courtesy GRAD [1].jpg

Bringing together emerging and established artists from Russia and Ukraine, the 'Borderlands' exhibition at GRAD in London explores the fluid boundaries between art, activism, and action – whether in Kyiv or Moscow.

Novosibirsk's cultural history of loss

Novosibirsk_theatre_0.jpg When it comes to loss, this city has form stretching back to the Soviet era. But is the scandal surrounding the city's Opera House just another page in this century-long saga?

 

Russia’s repressive monument to victims of political repression

Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 15.36.17.pngThe Russian state’s recognition of terror victims in marble and concrete is its own form of totalitarianism. на русском языке

 

Film review: (Oscar-nominated) 'Tangerines'

Tangerines poster (for standfirst).pngTangerines, an Estonian film about the Abkhaz-Georgian conflict, is up for an Oscar in the category of Best Foreign Language Film. What was it that caught the eye of the Academy?

 

The real ‘Leviathan’

Leviathan pics 1.jpgIn the town where the Oscar-nominated Leviathan was shot, locals are ambivalent about the film that purports to reflect their lives.

 

The ‘bright future’ of Oleg Sentsov

Mike Downey crop.jpgUkrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov has been held in pre-trial detention for almost a year on charges of terrorism – most of it in Moscow’s notorious Lefortovo prison.

 

Book review: Richard Sakwa, 'Frontline Ukraine: Crisis in the Borderlands'

Cover - Richard Sakwa - Frontline in Ukraine- I B Taurus.jpgRichard Sakwa’s Frontline Ukraine is both a searing critique of Western policies after the Cold War and a thorough revision of cheerful and monochrome accounts of Ukraine’s latest revolution.  

 

Book review: Fiona Hill and Clifford Gaddy, 'Mr. Putin – Operative in the Kremlin'

Cover_ MrPutin.jpgThe key to understanding Putin is to recognise how he uses information to tell him who we think he is. But what does that tell us?

 

Film review: 'All Things Ablaze' (dir. by Oleksandr Techynskyi, Aleksei Solodunov, Dmitry Stoikov)

All_things_ablaze_2014_poster - Варвара Перекрест (дизайн), Юлія Сердюкова (фото)- wiki.jpgOne year on from the mass protests that racked Ukraine, the documentary film All Things Ablaze attempts to deal with the events developing in the country’s capital, Kyiv in February 2014.

 

Film review: 'I Don't Believe in Anarchy' (dir. Natalia Chumakova and Anna Tsyrlina)

Letov Film Pic.jpg

'Everything will be free. Everyone will be fucking high.' Between 1985 and 1990, Yegor Letov and his Siberian punk rock group Grazhdanskaya Oborona (Civil Defence) created some of the most powerful music to come out of the Soviet Union. And had a lot of fun upsetting the KGB...

 

Book review: Samuel Greene, 'Moscow in Movement: Power and Opposition in Putin’s Russia'

Cover_Greene_Russia_0.pngRussians pride themselves on their capacity for state-building, but their idea of the state is not one that the West would recognise, or was hoping for…

 

 

Syndicate content