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Joining information for GB-Russia Society talk by Sophy Roberts at 7 pm on Friday 22 January 2021 via Zoom

21st January 2021

Thank you for making or requesting a booking to attend Sophy Roberts’ talk ‘The Lost Pianos of Siberia’, at which you will be most welcome. Here, for your private information as the recipient of this email, is how to attend via Zoom: please do not share this onward.

Redacted as only available to those who have made bookings

 

You should next be taken into a ‘virtual waiting room’ from which, after a short wait, you will then be ‘admitted’ to the talk by Meredith Franey who will be the ‘Zoom host’ tomorrow and for most of our forthcoming talks. It is hoped that it will be pretty straightforward: however, while we have now handled quite a few talks via Zoom, system updates are made regularly, so one never quite knows how it will go!

 

The talk will start at 7pm, and the video meeting will be live to join from 6:30 pm. Please join in good time so that we can try to sort out any technical issues that may perhaps arise before the start.

 

Further scheduled talks, to which additions are continuing to be made, will be available to book at https://gbrussia.org/programme/, so please check regularly.

Kind regards,

Henry Pares

secretary@nullgbrussia.org

The Lost Pianos of Siberia 22 January 2021 (19.00 GMT)

18th January 2021

Dear All,

This is a reminder for the next talk:

22 January 2021 (19.00 GMT)

The Lost Pianos of Siberia

Siberia has become something of a shorthand for hardship and toil, the harsh environment echoing an even harsher history of penal colonies and post-Soviet economic hardship. Travel journalist Sophy Roberts explores Siberia’s contribution to Russia’s extraordinary history of piano music, and the endurance of art in even the most extreme circumstances.

Sophy Roberts is a Dorset-based writer whose debut book, The Lost Pianos of Siberia (2021), is a Sunday Times Book of 2020. Roberts, an alumna of Oxford and Columbia universities, has served as Condé Nast Traveler special correspondent and 1843 travel editor. She remains a frequent contributor to FT Weekend.

GBRS Zoom talks all cost £5 per household booking.  You may book online at www.gbrussia.org or send me a cheque in the usual way.  All those who have booked will receive an email with a link to the event, the evening before the talk, inviting you to take part by clicking on the link. If you don’t receive the link, please let me know and I will forward it on to you.

The speakers address the Society for around 45 minutes, and this is followed by a half-hour question and answer session. When you join, we request that you mute your microphones for the whole talk. During the question and answer session, if you wish to ask a question, please click on the ‘Raise hand’ icon that will be visible on the screen and wait to be invited by the chairman to speak. You would at that point, unmute your microphone.

We look forward to seeing you at a Zoom talk soon.

Best wishes for 2021!

Ute

Ivan Pavlov prints of Old Moscow

4th January 2021


Dear All,

Happy New Year!  I hope you had a relaxing and enjoyable break.

I am passing on an email we received from Charles Crawford who is selling a set of Ivan Pavlov prints.  If anyone is interested, please contact Charles directly on charlescrawf@nullgmail.com or on 

+ 44 7515 652 774 

“Back in the Mists of Time I served
as Counsellor at the British Embassy in Moscow soon after the USSR collapsed (1993-96). 

While there I bought a set of Ivan Pavlov prints of Old Moscow: here are such sets up for auction and getting a good price. Examples below.

https://www.gildensarts.com/artwork/old-moscow-staraia-moskva/

https://www.icollector.com/IVAN-PAVLOV-12-Linocuts-Old-Moscow-Russian_i7497616

These are an impressive and evocative series of beautiful signed prints, recalling a very different Russia. We had them simply framed but I also have the (rather battered) original Stalin-era folder they came in with supporting notes etc

I no longer have space for them, and was wondering if anyone at the GBRS might be interested in making me an offer I can’t refuse, or have some ideas on who might like them. We are moving soon later this month if all goes well, so an early reply will be appreciated.

Many thanks in advance, and С Новым Годом! 
Charles
Charles Crawford”


Members will appreciate that in cases such as this the Society cannot be responsible for the quality of goods supplied by the third party seller.

Best wishes

Ute

GBRS lecture programme for Spring 2021

22nd December 2020

Dear All,

 I am delighted to share the GBRS lecture programme for Spring 2021:

 22 January 2021 (19.00 GMT)

 The Lost Pianos of Siberia

Siberia has become something of a shorthand for hardship and toil, the harsh environment echoing an even harsher history of penal colonies and post-Soviet economic hardship. Travel journalist Sophy Roberts explores Siberia’s contribution to Russia’s extraordinary history of piano music, and the endurance of art in even the most extreme circumstances.

Sophy Roberts is a Dorset-based writer whose debut book, The Lost Pianos of Siberia (2021), is a Sunday Times Book of 2020. Roberts, an alumna of Oxford and Columbia universities, has served as Condé Nast Traveler special correspondent and 1843 travel editor. She remains a frequent contributor to FT Weekend. 

2 February 2021 (18.00 GMT)

Ecological Conservation in Russia’s Arctic Circle

Over 20 per cent of Russia’s vast territory is in the Arctic, a unique ecosystem under increasing threat from climate change. Dr. Irina Onufrenya will detail the threats Russia’s arctic is facing and the vital work the Russian branch of the World Wildlife Fund is doing to preserve these areas, which are critical to the environmental future of both Russia and the entire planet.

Dr. Irina Onufrenya serves as acting director of World Wildlife Fund Russia’s Biodiversity Programme and oversees the organisation’s Arctic projects. An alumna of Lobachevsky University in Nizhny Novgorod and the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Geography, Onufrenya has developed protected area systems in the Russian Caucasus, Altai, the Russian Far East, and Central Asia.

13 February 2021 (11.30 GMT)

Kazakhstan ‘after’ Nazarbayev

In 2019, Nursultan Nazarbayev stepped down as president of Kazakhstan, becoming one of the Central Asia’s few rulers to leave office voluntarily since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the last of the ex-communist apparatchiks who had ruled since then to depart. Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has succeeded Nazarbayev as president, but his authority remains uncertain as the octogenarian former leader continues to pull the political strings — for now. In her matinee talk, Joanna Lillis will walk us through a complex transition that is unprecedented in the post-Soviet space.

Joanna Lillis is an Almaty-based journalist whose reporting on Central Asia has appeared in The EconomistThe Guardian, and Eurasianet. She is an alumna of Leeds and Bradford universities and the author of Dark Shadows: inside the secret world of Kazakhstan (2018).

24 February 2021 (19.00 GMT)

Russia: A Geoeconomic Power?

Less than 30 years after the collapse of Communism, Russia in 2020 is deeply integrated into the international financial system the Soviet Union shunned. Russia is also a creditor to many allied states. Maximilian Hess provides a history of Russia’s relations with global capital markets, from late Soviet-era borrowing to the present day, and explores how Russia has become one of the most savvy players in ‘geo-economics’ – the use of financial tools and relationships to achieve political aims.

Maximilian Hess is head of political risk at Hawthorn Advisors, a strategic communications consultancy in London. A graduate of Franklin & Marshall College and the School of Oriental and African Studies, he also serves as a Central Asia fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, a think tank in Philadelphia.

11 March 2021 (19.00 GMT)

Russia and the Covid-19 Pandemic: A Public Health Assessment

The pandemic has been a challenge for even the most highly developed countries. Prior to the advent of COVID-19, Russia faced a range of public health challenges, from an underfunded healthcare system to a post-Soviet mortality rate that threatened the country’s demographic future. Prof. Christopher Gerry will provide an overview of how an already uncertain public health situation has been disrupted by an unprecedented global crisis.

Prof. Christopher Gerry is Associate Professor of Russian and Eurasian Political Economy at Oxford University and Dean of St. Antony’s College. He was previously Associate Professor of Health Economics at UCL SSEES, of which he was deputy director from 2012 to 2014, and Professor of Health Economics at the Higher School of Economics (HSE) in Saint Petersburg, whose International Centre for Health Economics, Management, and Policy he set up in 2015. He is an alumnus of East Anglia (UEA) and Essex universities.

22 March 2021 (19.00 GMT)

Russia’s ‘Near Abroad’ Policy: More Optics Than Substance?

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union Russia has claimed a privileged sphere of influence in the so-called near abroad, one that it has shown itself willing to defend with military force in Georgia in 2008 and Ukraine in 2014. But 2020 has raised questions about the extent of Russia’s continued ability to maintain this influence, with uprisings in Belarus and Kyrgyzstan and Azerbaijan’s victory in the latest conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, enabled by Turkish support. Anna Arutunyan argues that Russia’s power in the region is largely a question of optics, and facts on the ground are increasingly showing the limits of its influence.

Anna Arutunyan is an analyst based in Moscow and Washington, DC. She is a former International Crisis Group senior analyst, Kennan Institute fellow, and Moscow News editor and reporter and the author of several books on Russia, most notably The Putin Mystique: inside Russia’s power cult (2013).

Best wishes for Christmas and a happy, healthy and active 2021!

Ute

Pushkin House auction and “Memories of Moscow”

9th December 2020

Dear All,

Pushkin House has asked me to let you know that they are raising funds through an online auction to enable them to own their own grand piano

https://www.jumblebee.co.uk/APianoForPushkin

“We’ve never owned an instrument, instead we’ve always had one loaned to us. Thanks to the generosity of our supporters so far we’ve raised over £4,000. With this auction we aim to get closer to our end target of £25,000. The piano is the beating heart of our renowned music programme, which presents rarely heard Soviet and Russian composers and gives a platform to emerging talent alongside well-known names. Happy Christmas bidding and thank you!

Also, you might like to know that

Dr Harald Lipman, longstanding GBRS member’s memoirs – “Memories of Moscow – Memoirs of a Medical Diplomat”, based upon the years he and his wife, Nahid spent in Moscow in the 1980s, are now available on Kindle and in paperback version from Amazon https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08PZKGKR5/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

Best wishes

Ute

Wednesday, 9 December @ 1800 – Anton Gorlenko and Anastasiia Gerasimova: A New Angle on Russian Architecture

8th December 2020

Dear All,

This is an automated reminder for tomorrow’s talk:

Wednesday, 9 December @ 1800  –  Anton Gorlenko and Anastasiia Gerasimova: A New Angle on Russian Architecture

The Russian avant-garde architect and painter,Konstantin Melnikov (1890-1974), deserves to be better known in the UK. His architectural activity belongs to a single decade (1923-1933), and he was one of the leading avant-garde architects in Russia in the 1920s. He was associated with the Constructivists, but neither fully Constructivist nor Functionalist. He was essentially an independent artist, not bound by the rules of a particular style or artistic group.  In the 1930s he refused to conform with Stalinist requirements and – accused of being a formalist –  was banned from practice, spending the next 40 years of his life painting and teaching. Thirteen of his buildings still survive in Moscow.


In his presentation, Anton Gorlenkowill provide an overview of Konstantin Melnikov’s life and achievements and his significance as an architect. He will then focus on the forthcoming restoration of one of Melnikov’s early buildings, the Office of the New Sukharev Market (1925) – a project in which he is personally involved – and outline the official approach to the preservation of other Melnikov heritage sites and of pre/post-World War II Modernist architecture in Moscow in general.

In her presentation, Anastasiia Gerasimova will talk about the exciting new phenomenon of ‘self-initiated’ projects which have developed in Russia in recent years.

The young generation of architects in Russia are keen to express and give effect to their own aesthetic vision and attach great importance to the initiation of architectural projects themselves rather than on behalf of a client. Anastasiia will provide illustrations of what this new architectural development means in practice, in both the urban and suburban context. She will talk about how young practitioners and students are working independently on projects they have initiated and the important  educational role played by the Moscow School of Architecture (MARCH). 

This talk will be illustrated and the speakers will be joining us from Moscow.

GBRS Zoom talksall cost £5 per household booking. You may book online atwww.gbrussia.orgor send me a cheque in the usual way. All those who have booked will receive an email with a link to the event, the evening before the talk, inviting you to take part by clicking on the link. If you don’t receive the link, please let me know and I will forward it on to you.

The speakers will address the Society for around 45 minutes, and this will be followed by a half-hour question and answer session. When you join, we request that you mute your microphones for the whole talk. During the question and answer session, anyone wishing to ask a question, should click on the ‘Raise hand’ icon that will be visible on the screen and wait to be invited by the chairman to speak. You would at that point, unmute your microphone.

Wednesday, 9 December @ 1800 – Anton Gorlenko and Anastasiia Gerasimova: A New Angle on Russian Architecture

Dear All,

This is an automated reminder for tomorrow’s talk:

Wednesday, 9 December @ 1800  –  Anton Gorlenko and Anastasiia Gerasimova: A New Angle on Russian Architecture

The Russian avant-garde architect and painter,Konstantin Melnikov (1890-1974), deserves to be better known in the UK. His architectural activity belongs to a single decade (1923-1933), and he was one of the leading avant-garde architects in Russia in the 1920s. He was associated with the Constructivists, but neither fully Constructivist nor Functionalist. He was essentially an independent artist, not bound by the rules of a particular style or artistic group.  In the 1930s he refused to conform with Stalinist requirements and – accused of being a formalist –  was banned from practice, spending the next 40 years of his life painting and teaching. Thirteen of his buildings still survive in Moscow.

In his presentation, Anton Gorlenkowill provide an overview of Konstantin Melnikov’s life and achievements and his significance as an architect. He will then focus on the forthcoming restoration of one of Melnikov’s early buildings, the Office of the New Sukharev Market (1925) – a project in which he is personally involved – and outline the official approach to the preservation of other Melnikov heritage sites and of pre/post-World War II Modernist architecture in Moscow in general.

In her presentation, Anastasiia Gerasimova will talk about the exciting new phenomenon of ‘self-initiated’ projects which have developed in Russia in recent years.

The young generation of architects in Russia are keen to express and give effect to their own aesthetic vision and attach great importance to the initiation of architectural projects themselves rather than on behalf of a client. Anastasiia will provide illustrations of what this new architectural development means in practice, in both the urban and suburban context. She will talk about how young practitioners and students are working independently on projects they have initiated and the important  educational role played by the Moscow School of Architecture (MARCH). 

This talk will be illustrated and the speakers will be joining us from Moscow.

GBRS Zoom talksall cost £5 per household booking. You may book online atwww.gbrussia.orgor send me a cheque in the usual way. All those who have booked will receive an email with a link to the event, the evening before the talk, inviting you to take part by clicking on the link. If you don’t receive the link, please let me know and I will forward it on to you.

The speakers will address the Society for around 45 minutes, and this will be followed by a half-hour question and answer session. When you join, we request that you mute your microphones for the whole talk. During the question and answer session, anyone wishing to ask a question, should click on the ‘Raise hand’ icon that will be visible on the screen and wait to be invited by the chairman to speak. You would at that point, unmute your microphone.

Joining information for GB-Russia Society talk by Anton Gorlenko and Anastasiia Gerasimova at 6 pm on Wednesday 9 December 2020 via Zoom

Thank you for making or requesting a booking to attend Anton Gorlenko’s and Anastasiia Gerasimova’s talk ‘A New Angle on Russian Architecture’, at which you will be most welcome. Here, for your private information as the recipient of this email, is how to attend via Zoom: please do not share this onward.

Redacted as only available to those who have made bookings

 

You should next be taken into a ‘virtual waiting room’ from which, after a short wait, you will then be ‘admitted’ to the talk – please note that I will not be the ‘Zoom host’ on Wednesday. It is hoped that it will be pretty straightforward. However, please bear with us: although we have now handled quite a few talks via Zoom, system updates are made regularly (including with respect to password usage), so one never quite knows how it will go!

 

The talk will start at the earlier than usual time of 6pm, and the video meeting will be live to join from 5:30 pm. Please do join in good time so that we can try to sort out any technical issues that may perhaps arise before the start.

 

Further scheduled talks, to which additions are continuing to be made, will be available to book at https://gbrussia.org/programme/, so please check regularly.

Kind regards,

Henry Pares

secretary@nullgbrussia.org

Wednesday, 9 December @ 1800 – Anton Gorlenko and Anastasiia Gerasimova: A New Angle on Russian Architecture

2nd December 2020

Dear All,

I wondered if members would be interested in attending occasional talks via Zoom on a Saturday morning or afternoon?  I am asking as this might sometimes make it easier to secure speakers who are based abroad.  I would be grateful therefore if you could let me know if you would, in principle, attend a matinee talk on a Saturday please – thanks very much.

Also, a reminder for our next talk:

Wednesday, 9 December @ 1800  –  Anton Gorlenko and Anastasiia Gerasimova: A New Angle on Russian Architecture

The Russian avant-garde architect and painter, Konstantin Melnikov (1890-1974), deserves to be better known in the UK. His architectural activity belongs to a single decade (1923-1933), and he was one of the leading avant-garde architects in Russia in the 1920s. He was associated with the Constructivists, but neither fully Constructivist nor Functionalist. He was essentially an independent artist, not bound by the rules of a particular style or artistic group.  In the 1930s he refused to conform with Stalinist requirements and – accused of being a formalist –  was banned from practice, spending the next 40 years of his life painting and teaching. Thirteen of his buildings still survive in Moscow.

In his presentation, Anton Gorlenko will provide an overview of Konstantin Melnikov’s life and achievements and his significance as an architect. He will then focus on the forthcoming restoration of one of Melnikov’s early buildings, the Office of the New Sukharev Market (1925) – a project in which he is personally involved – and outline the official approach to the preservation of other Melnikov heritage sites and of pre/post-World War II Modernist architecture in Moscow in general.

In her presentation, Anastasiia Gerasimova will talk about the exciting new phenomenon of ‘self-initiated’ projects which have developed in Russia in recent years.

The young generation of architects in Russia are keen to express and give effect to their own aesthetic vision and attach great importance to the initiation of architectural projects themselves rather than on behalf of a client. Anastasiia will provide illustrations of what this new architectural development means in practice, in both the urban and suburban context. She will talk about how young practitioners and students are working independently on projects they have initiated and the important  educational role played by the Moscow School of Architecture (MARCH). 

This talk will be illustrated and the speakers will be joining us from Moscow.

GBRS Zoom talks all cost £5 per household booking.  You may book online at www.gbrussia.org or send me a cheque in the usual way.  All those who have booked will receive an email with a link to the event, the evening before the talk, inviting you to take part by clicking on the link. If you don’t receive the link, please let me know and I will forward it on to you.

The speakers will address the Society for around 45 minutes, and this will be followed by a half-hour question and answer session. When you join, we request that you mute your microphones for the whole talk. During the question and answer session, anyone wishing to ask a question, should click on the ‘Raise hand’ icon that will be visible on the screen and wait to be invited by the chairman to speak. You would at that point, unmute your microphone.

We look forward to “seeing” many of you on the 9th December.

Best wishes

Ute

 

SCRSS illustrated talk by Philip Wilkinson on his book Red Star and Roundel on 25 November

24th November 2020

Dear All

Just sending you details of a talk organised by the SCRSS:

This is a reminder that this Wednesday evening (25 Nov)  we will be hosting an online illustrated talk by Philip Wilkinson on his book Red Star and Roundel. To register for the talk, please use this Eventbrite link.

Wed 25 Nov 2020, 7pm. Online illustrated talk: Philip Wilkinson on Red Star and Roundel – A Shared Century.

Philip Wilkinson will discuss his book (reviewed in SCRSS Digest – Summer 2020) which looks at the fascinating history of the RAF’s involvement with the USSR and Russia over the course of the 100 years from 1917/18. For more information about the talk and to register, click here . Registration is FREE but donations are encouraged. If you register in advance for the talk, afterwards you will automatically receive a link to the recording of the talk which is accessible for 30 days.

 

About this Event

Philip Wilkinson will take us on a rapid run-through of his book Red Star and Roundel , which examines the ways in which the Royal Air Force and Russia have been linked (or separated) over their shared century: the hundred years since the November 1917 Revolution and the April 1918 formation of the Royal Air Force.

Phil served for forty years in the Royal Air Force, with flying duties taking him across most of the world, and his duties on the ground including spells in Vienna, Alabama, Paris, Belgium, Berlin, and finally Moscow, where he was Defence and Air Attaché at the British Embassy, Moscow, from 1993 to 1997.

He is a Trustee of the Soviet War Memorial Trust, which is responsible for the Soviet War Memorial in London. See www.sovietwarmemorialtrust.com for more information.

One of the episodes covered in the book (and the talk) is the deployment of RAF 151 Wing via the first Arctic convoy from the UK in August 1941. The story of this incredible operation is told in the documentary film Hurricanes to Murmansk. Copies of the DVD are still available from http://www.atollproductions.com/ .

 

Regards

Ralph

 

Ralph Gibson
Hon. Secretary
Society for Co-operation in Russian & Soviet Studies [SCRSS]

SCRSS 320 Brixton Road London SW9 6AB
Tel: 020 7274 2282 | Eml: ruslibrary@nullscrss.org.uk | Web: http://www.scrss.org.uk/
Registered Charity No: 1104012 | 
DONATE

 

Best wishes
Ute

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