7th SLOVO Russian Literature Festival  

15 – 24 April 2016

Watersones Piccadilly, 203-206 Piccadilly, London W1J 9HD

 

MEMORIES OF THE FUTURE | ВОСПОМИНАНИЯ О БУДУЩЕМ

 

Join us at Waterstones Piccadilly for the 7th SLOVO Festival!

SLOVO brings together Russia’s most prominent and influential authors and journalists and offers an open and honest discussion of the past, present and future of Russia. 

 

SLOVO is not supported by the Russian government.

All events are in Russian with English translation, unless stated otherwise.

Tickets to all events can be booked here >>

 

 

PROGRAMME



 

Friday 15 April 2016, 7 pm, Waterstones Piccadilly, 4th Floor

SLOVO OPENING NIGHT

ANDREY MAKAREVICH. ON BEAUTY

In Russian with English translation

 

Andrey Makarevich, the legendary Russian poet and rock musician, the founder and longtime leader of the Russia's oldest rock band Mashina Vremeni (Time Machine) is an outspoken, iconic personality, a rebel and a hero of many generations. 

 

It has become a tradition for SLOVO to support durung the festival the charities saving children's lives in Russia. On our Opening Night we would like to invite you to support the Chance for Life and the Life Line (Линия жизни) foundations. We have reserved rows 1, 2 and 3 for those who will make a donation to these foundations. We are deeply grateful for your support! And look forward to seeing you at the SLOVO Opening Night! 

Book tickets >>

 

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Saturday 16 April 2016, 7 pm, Waterstones Piccadilly, 4th Floor 

EVGENY VODOLAZKIN

LANDSCAPES OF TIME. LAURUS vs AVIATOR | ЛАНДШАФТЫ ВРЕМЕНИ. "ЛАВР" vs "АВИАТОР"

In Russian with English translation

 

Vodolazkin was catapulted to prominence by his debut novel Solovyov and Larionov | Соловьев и Ларионов, which was not only very popular with readers, but was also rewarded with a place on the shortlist for both the Andrei Bely Prize (2009) and the Big Book Award (2010). His second novel, Laurus | Лавр, was awarded the main Russian literary prize, The Big Book prize, and it is now translated into 26 languages including English. His third novel, Aviator | Авиатор, is highly anticipated and is coming out in Russia in April 2016.

 

Prior to this, Vodolazkin was best known within his academic field of Old Russian literature - a subject on which he is an internationally recognised expert, with degrees from Kiev (the city of his birth), St. Petersburg and Munich universities, and numerous publications to his name. Although he shuns the label 'professorial' for his fiction, Vodolazkin's novel plays with the tools of literary criticism. 

Book tickets >>

 

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Sunday 17 April 2016, 4 pm, Waterstones Piccadilly, 4th Floor 

ENGLISH LESSONS. TODAY'S BRITAIN THROUGH THE EYES OF RUSSIAN AUTHORS 

УРОКИ АНГЛИЙСКОГО. СОВРЕМЕННАЯ БРИТАНИЯ ГЛАЗАМИ РУССКИХ АВТОРОВ 

In Russian 

 

When Winston Churchill said that Russia is “a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma”, he wouldn’t have thought that any Russian could probably say exactly the same thing about Britain. This formula sounds like a pretty accurate description of the mutual attraction between our two nations. But the excitement may easily turn into despair when you realise that this riddle is impossible to solve. There are people though who dare to take up this challenge. We invited four of these courageous people – four Russian journalists who have been living in the UK for a long time and have written about this country in their books:

Alexander Smotrov, former London correspondent for RIA Novosti, author of the book “London: Busting the Stereotypes, or Non-Foggy Babylon”

Zograb Nalbandian, journalist, author of the book “Tea With the Queen: Britain in Early 21st Century”

Andrey Ostalsky, journalist, author of several fiction and non-fiction books on Britain

Mikhail Smotryaev, BBC Russian service journalist, author of the “Russian Commentary to the English Life. Unordered Notes”.

We also invited Arina Orlova, artist, author of several art series on Britain and Britons and illustrator of the book “Britain. Mind the Gap, or How to Become a Native”.

 

What is our perception of contemporary Britain and what could we learn from the British? How does the UK manage to remain modern and relevant and at the same time to preserve its famous traditions and conservatism? How to describe or depict London and not to fall into an easy trap of stereotypes? Is it possible to become British or should you be born into it? And what is the British “enigma” after all?

Perhaps you have already solved this British “riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma”? In this case, please come and join our discussion over a cup of English tea!

Book tickets >>

 

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Monday 18 April 2016, 7 pm, Waterstones Piccadilly, 4th Floor

PETER PAN, ALICE AND OTHERS. MYSTICISM OF CHILDHOOD 

ПИТЕР ПЭН, АЛИСА И ДРУГИЕ. МИСТИКА ДЕТСТВА 

In Russian

 

Питер Пэн и Алиса, Пеппи Длинныйчулок и Алеша из «Черной курицы», Том Сойер и Николенька из «Отрочества» Л.Н. Толстого – любимые герои наших детских книг остаются нашими верными друзьями на всю жизнь. Почему мир именного этого периода детства так привлекателен для писателей всего мира? И, конечно, для нас, их читателей.

Повзрослев, мы стремимся нырнуть в этот удивительный мир еще раз, взглянуть на мир глазами ребенка, пережить то, что переживали в этом возрасте. Что такого особенного в мировосприятии детей в этот период жизни? И что о нас самих, уже повзрослевших, рассказывают нам герои этих книг? 

Экзистенциальный психолог Светлана Кривцова и детский писатель Алла Башенко обсудят, как читаются эти детские истории с точки зрения современной экзистенциальной психологии и чем особенно важны эти годы детства для развития психики взрослого человека.

Book tickets >>


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Tuesday 19 April 2016, 7 pm, Waterstones Piccadilly, 4th Floor

ALEXANDER ETKIND

WARPED MOURNING. STORIES OF THE UNDEAD IN THE LAND OF THE UNBURIED

КРИВОЕ ГОРЕ. ПАМЯТЬ О НЕПОГРЕБЕННЫХ 

In Russian

 

More than twenty years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia remains "the land of the unburied": the events of the mid-twentieth century are still very much alive, and still contentious. Alexander Etkind shows how post-Soviet Russia has turned the painful process of mastering the past into an important part of its political present.  

 

"Warped Mourning is pioneering and thought-provoking. It reads (or rereads) a dazzling range of texts, films, and images to reveal their obsession with the past . . . [B]rilliant close readings . . . A work of great ambition that engages a century of thinking about trauma."

—Polly Jones, Times Literary Supplement

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Wednesday 20 April 2016, 7 pm, Waterstones Piccadilly, 4th Floor

BORIS AKUNIN

NEW LITERARY GAMES | НОВЫЕ ЛИТЕРАТУРНЫЕ ИГРЫ

In Russian with English translation

 

At SLOVO festival Boris Akunin will announce his new project.

 

Boris Akunin is the pen name of Grigory Chkhartishvili. With over 80 million copies of his works produced, he is indisputably one of Russia’s best-selling  authors. Best known as a writer of detective and historical fiction, he has been compared in turn to Tolstoy, Dostoevsky and Conan-Doyle. Also well-respected as an essayist and a civil activist. Akunin is currently working on a monumental multi-volume history of Russia and a series of novels. Read more about Boris Akunin: Lunch with the FT: Boris Akunin.

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Thursday 21 April 2016, 7 pm, Waterstones Piccadilly, 4th Floor

OWEN HATHERLEY 

LANDSCAPES OF COMMUNISM | ЛАНДШАФТЫ КОММУНИЗМА 

In English

 

Owen Hatherley goes in search of socialism via an epic and insightful study of Eastern bloc architecture. Landscapes of Communism is a revelatory voyage into fantastical domains made more so by the fact that they were often enormous forms of propaganda: slave-built expressions of equality, non-functioning functionalism, or representations of futures that would never arrive.

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Friday 22 April 2016, 7 pm, Waterstones Piccadilly, 4th Floor

KIRILL KOBRIN

SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE BIRTH OF MODERNITY | ШЕРЛОК ХОЛМС И РОЖДЕНИЕ СОВРЕМЕННОСТИ

In Russian

 

Kirill Kobrin writes fiction and nonfiction prose, co-edits Moscow magazine of culture and politics Neprikosnovenniy Zapas (Emergency Rations), and researches the cultural history of Russia, Great Britain and the Czech Republic. He is the author of 15 books and his texts have been translated into several European languages.

 

Kobrin’s book Sherlock Holmes and the Birth of Modernity | Шерлок Холм и рождение современности, touches upon those aspects of modernity which emerged in the late Victorian period and have been retained to this day. The late Soviet world, into which Kobrin was born, was in some way similar, and this leads to an unexpected memoir-like tone – about illusory stability, inertia, hypocrisy, and a reliable routine. 

 

In his Eleven Prague Corpses (published by Dalkey Archive Press), Prague is a place where murders happen, and it takes an English-speaking Russian expat with a strong antipathy for the city and its inhabitants to solve the mystery . . . or maybe not. 

Book tickets >>


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Saturday 23 April 2016, 7 pm, Waterstones Piccadilly, 4th Floor

MIKHAIL SHISHKIN 

DREAMING OF THE FUTURE | МЕЧТАЯ О БУДУЩЕМ

In Russian with English translation

 

The author of widely acclaimed novels, Shishkin is admired as a refined stylist whose fiction engages Russian and European literary traditions and forges an equally expansive vision for the future of literature.

Born January 18, 1961 in Moscow, Shishkin worked as a school teacher and journalist.  His writing debut in 1993, the short story Calligraphy Lesson, was named Best Debut of the Year by the literary journal Znamya.  In 1995 he moved to Switzerland, where he worked as a Russian and German translator within the Immigration Department and specifically with Asylum Seekers. Shishkin’s first novel, Larionov’s Reminiscences was published in 1994. The two novels which followed have earned him the three most prestigious Russian literary awards: The Taking of Izmail (2000) won the Russian Booker Prize and Maiden Hair (2005) was awarded both  the National Bestseller Prize and the Big Book prize.  

Shishkin’s novel The Light and the Dark (2010) has been greeted with delight by readers and reviewers alike, was acclaimed as the Literary Event of the Year, and came top in the 2010 Imhonet Readers’ Prize.

His work has been translated into more than thirty different languages, and has been widely praised for its style, often compared to great writers such as Nabokov and Joyce. All of his novels have been adapted for Stage Production in Russia.

Book tickets >>

 

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Sunday 24 April 2016, 4 pm, Waterstones Piccadilly, 4th Floor

PETER POMERANTSEV 

NOTHING IS TRUE AND EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE. THE SURREAL HEART OF THE NEW RUSSIA

In English

 

Pomerantsev, born in the UK to Russian émigré parents, spent almost a decade in Moscow working as a TV producer, making documentaries and reality shows for Russian audiences. He arrived in the early 2000s, in the midst of an oil boom that brought a measure of prosperity to many and huge wealth to a select few, creating a tidal wave of glitz and extravagance, especially in the capital.author of widely acclaimed novels, Shishkin is admired as a refined stylist whose fiction engages Russian and European literary traditions and forges an equally expansive vision for the future of literature. 

 

Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible is an entertaining if at times bleak chronicle of these years, depicting a world “where gangsters become artists, gold‑diggers quote Pushkin, Hells Angels hallucinate themselves as saints”. On returning to the UK, he encountered the beneficiaries of the system he thought he had left behind – the oligarchs and bureaucrats turned businessmen who have siphoned wealth out of Russia and into London, the gilded post-Soviet youth who spend their time surrounded by their peers in an exclusive network of Mayfair nightclubs. For Pomerantsev, the west’s willingness to accept the Russian elite’s money is the ominous sign of a “slow patient co-optation” by the Kremlin. 

Book tickets >>

 

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SLOVO Festival Organisers

Academia Rossica is an independent arts organisation set up in 2000 to promote cultural and intellectual ties between Russia and Britain. We have pioneered many important intercultural projects, bringing the best of contemporary Russian culture to the UK. Academia Rossica runs the annual London Russian Film Festival, the SLOVO Russian literature festival and two prestigious literary translation awards – the Rossica Prize and the Rossica Young Translators Award. We represent Russian artists, filmmakers, writers and publishers. 

 

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Contact for press

press@academia-rossica.org

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