Communism, liberal euphoria, hyper-inflation, mafia state, oligarchy, oil boom: since 1989 Russia has experienced so many different realities at such blistering speed that by the start of the Putin era many Russians believed they could master all of them and live ‘beyond belief’. During the oil boom of the past decade, Moscow became a decadent, brilliant whirligig of a city, led by a generation of triumphant cynics who developed a new form of authoritarianism far subtler than the types familiar from the 20th century – a model I call ‘post-modern dictatorship’. In this lecture, Peter Pomeranzev will look at how this sense of being ‘beyond belief’ shapes contemporary life in Russia, and how the current protest movement can be seen as reflecting a conflict between the triumphant cynicism of the noughties and the desire to live in a value-driven society.
Peter Pomeranzev is a British television producer and non-fiction writer of Russian origin. He is also contributor to the London Review of Books and Newsweek Magazine (London). Currently he is Guest at the IWM in the framework of the “Russia in Global Dialogue” Fellowship program.
In cooperation with Foundation Open Society Institute, Zug, Switzerland
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