Of Language(s) in Ukraine

A discussion of languages in today’s Ukraine by four writers from Kharkiv: Serhiy Zhadan, Yuri Tsaplin, Oleh Kotsarev, and Andrei Krasniaschikh. Moderated by Tanya Zaharchenko, with English translation by Iryna Sabor. Podcast from a University of Oslo event on 26.09.2016

One Year Since Submission

Nothing big, nothing overpowering. Just a gentle, droning whisper in the back of your mind. What will you really change if you go to that march now, and another passing car leaves you without a leg?

Return of the Names 2014

For eight years now, Russia’s oldest and arguably most noble human rights group, Memorial, has been organizing an annual commemoration event for victims of the Great Terror. The ceremony, called Return of the Names, takes place every year on October 29.

Post-Submission Thoughts

Here are five thoughts about the things I wish I knew three or four years ago, when I started this blog and was just beginning to research my topic:

What a New Doctoral Candidate (in Britain) Might Want to Know

Beyond Regime: Soviet Cartoons

Those of us whose childhoods coincided (partially or fully) with Soviet times were shaped to various degrees by the little masterpieces that served as the country’s children’s cartoons. These remarkable animations, it seems to me, absorbed much of the kindness and thoughtfulness of the people who lived in those times.

In memory of Yanka

Last month, the municipal authorities of the city of Novosibirsk refused to grant permission for a memorial plaque to Yana (Yanka) Dyagileva.

Yanka (Russian: Янка) was one of the best-known representatives of the Siberian underground rock scene. She was born in 1966 and drowned in a river in 1991, a few months before her 25th birthday.

In memory of Grigory Pomerants

It is with much sadness that I learned about the passing of Grigory Pomerants (Григорий Померанц) in Moscow this past weekend. On the evening he died, as it turns out, I sat at a friend’s kitchen table and admired this impressive man’s 1990 collection “Открытость бездне” [Openness to the Abyss]. What a strange coincidence. 

On Skydiving

Moving this blog to a non-academic server has made its subject matter slightly more manoeuvrable. As a result, this is a post about one of the things that bring me joy – skydiving. It is dedicated to the memory of my first instructor Matthew Sarsfield (5 Oct 1977 – 27 May 2011).

Death and the Maiden: Roberto’s Choice

“She’s mad, she needs therapy.” — “You are her therapy.” When I watched Ariel Dorfman’s “Death and the Maiden” (directed by Roman Polanski in 1994) for the first time, I had just entered my teens. And I remember feeling overcome by something that felt like a silver-lined cloud. The silver lining was a sense of…