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Event series “The Other Russia” continues

The Tsvetaeva Center at the University of Freiburg and the Research Training Group “Cultural Transfer and Cultural Identity” invite regime-critical intellectuals and artists

Freiburg, Oct 10, 2022

Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine continues, and the partial mobilization ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin even raises fears of a further escalation. At the same time, Russian intellectuals and artists are increasingly raising their voices against Putin’s regime and this war. Many of them now live outside Russia. The Tsvetaeva Center for Russian Culture at the University of Freiburg launched the event series “The Other Russia” in the spring of 2022 to make some of these voices heard. The first installment of the series raised nearly 6,000 euros in donations for the Medical Center – University of Freiburg’s Ukraine Aid. The series attracted a great deal of attention not only among the Freiburg public, but also among Russian intellectuals and artists.

The world-famous writer Viktor Yerofeyev suggested the title “Signs for the Future” for its continuation. Under this motto, readings and lectures, concerts and films will now again take place in Freiburg.

The series “The Other Russia. Signs for the Future” will run from October 13, 2022 through February 15, 2023. Event partners are the DFG-funded Research Training Group 1956 “Cultural Transfer and ‘Cultural Identity’” at the University of Freiburg, which is also providing much of the funding, as well as the City of Freiburg Cultural Office, Kommunales Kino, Theater Freiburg, Kultur im Freiburger Hof, Stadtbibliothek Freiburg, Kulturaggregat e.V., Literaturhaus Freiburg, German Association for Eas European Studies, West-Ost-Gesellschaft e.V., Urbangespräche, Centre Culturel Français Freiburg and the University of Freiburg.

The individual events

The event will kick off on Thursday, October 13, 2022, starting at 8 p.m. at the Kulturaggregat (Hildastraße 5) with the street artist Anton Polsky, also known by his artist’s name MAKE. He mainly deals with political topics in his works and is co-founder of the platform “Partizaning,” a Russian street art association that has repeatedly caused a stir with its public interventions since 2011. The lecture will be held in English.

Prof. Dr. Elisabeth Cheauré will speak about the problematic relationship between church and state in Russia on Monday, October 17, 2022, starting at 7:30 p.m. in the St. Caecilia Parish Hall - Urbansaal (Hauptstraße 42). The Orthodox Church largely justifies Russia's war, especially the "Patriarch of Moscow and all Rus" Kirill I shocks with corresponding statements and sermons. Prof. Dr. Elisabeth Cheauré is Professor of Slavic Philology and Gender Studies at the University of Freiburg and Chairwoman of the Tsvetaeva Center. She created the series “The Other Russia” together with Margarita Augustin.

A benefit concert and reading entitled “Voices from Exile. Honoring Marina Tsvetaeva” will take place on Saturday, October 22, 2022, starting at 7:30 p.m. in the Humboldt Hall (Humboldtstraße 2). The event will also commemorate the 130th birthday of Marina Tsvetaeva, one of the most important Russian poets of the 20th century and namesake of the Tsvetaeva Center at the University of Freiburg. Writer and translator Ilma Rakusa will read from Tsvetaeva’s letters (1930 to 1939), who fled abroad in 1917. Ilma Rakusa will recall the poet’s despair, and musician Sergei Tchirkov will provide musical accompaniment to the reading with his accordion, performing works by Orland Gibbons, Sofia Gabaidulina, Eva-Maria Houben, Igor Stravinsky and Francisco Corthey. The reading will take place in German.

Gusel Jachina will read from her current novel Wo vielleicht das Leben wartet (Where perhaps life awaits) on Thursday, November 3, 2022, starting at 7:30 p.m. at the Freiburg City Library. Jachina is a Russian author of Tatar descent who has already published the novels Suleika öffnet die Augen (Suleika opens her eyes) and Wolgakinder (Children of the Volga), which have been translated into numerous languages. Among other things, she won the most important Russian literary prize “The Big Book” in 2015 and received the Georg Dehio Book Prize in 2020. The reading will take place in German.

On Tuesday, November 8, 2022, starting at 6:15 p.m. in Lecture Hall 1015 at the University of Freiburg (Collegiate Building I), Boris Akunin will read and discuss the relationship between history, the present, and literature with Slavist Prof. Dr. Elisabeth Cheauré and Eastern European historian Prof. Dr. Dietmar Neutatz from the University of Freiburg. Akunin is not only one of the most important contemporary Russian crime writers, but also a Japanologist, literary scholar and translator. In addition, he is known for his political commitment and is regarded, among other things, as a spokesman for the Russian movement “For Fair Elections.” After experiencing political hostility, he left Russia more than five years ago. He will be digitally connected at the event.

Other events will include readings and discussions by the writer Viktor Yerofeyev (November 18, 2022) and the activist and performance artist Maria Alechina of the anti-government group “Pussy Riot” (December 5, 2022). The program will be followed by numerous films and other readings and concerts, a literary salon and a theater performance.

The flyer with the entire program “The Other Russia. Signs for the Future” can be found here:

Part of the event series will be live streamed. See links here:


At selected events, proceeds from admission fees and donations will benefit the emergency aid for Ukraine provided by the Medical Center – University of Freiburg.


Prof. Dr. Elisabeth Cheauré
Tsvetaeva Center for Russian Culture
University of Freiburg
Tel.: 0761/203- 54081

Annette Kollefrath-Persch
Office of University and Science Communications
University of Freiburg
Tel.: 0761/203-8909