Russian Sketch 3

One of the security guards in our building, Leonid, a lively and kindly man of Armenian descent in his late sixties, spent this whole year languishing in his desire to talk Ukrainian politics.

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What does Ukraine think?

“Beyond Pro and Anti: Monochrome Prefixes and Their Discontents” — my thoughts on the spiral of silence, the inverse echo chamber, and wartime’s semantic chameleons, in “What does Ukraine think?” collection from the European Council on Foreign Relations (ed. by Andrew Wilson).

Podcast from Columbia

Podcast from our Columbia University panel (part of Kharkiv: City of Ukrainian Culture conference) is now available. There were three panels: focusing on the Kharkiv Romantic school, the 1920-1930s, and the post-Soviet period. Mine was the last one.

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?

Conference at Columbia

While I come up an overdue update piece for this blog, here’s a conference announcement:

Please join us on March 12-13 at Columbia University for a conversation about “Kharkiv: City of Ukrainian Culture”. It is free and open to the public.

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.

Russian Sketch 2

Bus number 7 was taking its time. I stood on a bus stop on Shkiperskii Protok, watching the sky for signs of rain, on my way to the Hermitage for a BBC World Service recording. An elderly lady in a purple beret stood nearby, counting change in her hand.

The Expired Time

The shelf life of rumors is longer than their expiration date. The date passes, but no one sighs with relief. Predicted events do not take place, but in expired time, where there is no past, things cannot become the past: they do not depart and die. They get stored inside the mind as if they did happen, as facts. The number of times attacks and takeovers were heralded is the number of times they occurred. — an essay by Andrei Krasniashchikh