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“The power of art to resist oppression”

Marina Davydova in conversation with Dessy Gavrilova at the Vienna Humanities Festival 2018

16. July 2019
Magazine > Voices > “The power of art to resist oppression”

The detention in August 2017 of innovative and internationally acclaimed Russian theater and film director Kirill Serebrennikov made news around the world and immediately turned into a symbol of the state’s power to oppress and silence critical voices.

When months later the detainee-director’s performances “Nureyev” and “Little Tragedies” premiered to huge audience acclaim, it was seen as a victory of art over oppression. Russia’s prominent theater critic and Wiener Festwochen 2016 curator ­Marina Davydova discusses how ­Serebrennikov’s case reveals important features of Putin’s regime and why its outcome will define the relationship between art and state in Russia. Time to Talk’s Dessy Gavrilova leads the conversation.

Cover picture: (From left) French producer Charles-Evrard Tcherkhoff, Russian actor Roma Zver, Russian actress Irina Starshenbaum, German actor Teo Yoo, Russian director of photography Vladislav Opeliants and Russian producer Ilya Stewart pose with a cardboard bearing the name of Russian director Kirill Serebrennikov, as they arrive on 9 May 2018 for the screening of their film “Leto (Summer)” at the 71st edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes. Under house arrest since August last year, Russian theatre and film director Kirill Serebrennikov will miss the Cannes Film Festival 2019, where his film “Leto” or Summer was competing for the prestigious Palme d’Or prize. Photo: © Valery Hache / AFP / picturedesk.com


Vienna Humanities Festival

The Vienna Humanities Festival, organised by the IWM, Wien Museum and Time to Talk, is a series of around 40 Events (in German and English) which took place from 27 till 30 September 2018 for the third time at the Wien Museum, TU Wien, Evangelische Volksschule and Stadtkino.

The topic of 2018 “Power and Powerlessness” focused on the vulnerability of democracies in Europe in light of historical events embedding them in the context of contemporary socio-political developments.