Lisbon & Estoril Film Festival

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REVOLUTION OF 1917 AND THE FATE OF THE RUSSIAN POETS

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Readings of poems by Ossip Mandelstam, Anna Akhmatova, Marina Tsvetaeva, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Alexander Voloshin and Alexander Blok, in Russian and Portuguese language, by Diogo Dória, Marta Chaves e Nina Guerra.

It has been 100 years since the Russian Revolution of 1917. There will be no celebrations in its homeland, only meetings to remember and to go through an event that was a turning point not only for Russia, but for the entire world; an event followed by a bloody, fratricidal civil war with an astounding number of casualties. An in-depth analysis based on accurately documented facts is imperative. Such an analysis must also include the cultural aspects of the phenomenon.

The two decades prior to the main political and social events of October 1917 are known in Russian culture as the “silver age”. A powerful wave of artistic creation which brought together poets, painters, actors, musicians and philosophers; and even new genres, schools and artistic movements, as well as a never-before-seen publishing activity, debates and a public interest which is hard to imagine today. This period boasted a long list of creative geniuses: what happened to them in the years of the revolution? Who were they in the midst of the tempest? Participants? Opponents? Silent witnesses? Some of them left the country, others stayed, but why? Did the revolution put an end to the wave of creativity and innovation in literature and arts at that time, or was it a catalyst?

This matter could be discussed endlessly. It has been the subject of PhD theses, as well as many different studies and essays. For practical reasons, we propose a reduction of the topic, touching only on the fate of the poets; and even then we know it is not possible to cover everything. Instead, we will talk, exchange opinions, perhaps debate, and maybe then we will understand that this story is not at all simple, and begin to question some its stereotypes. Therefore, the theme of the session will be: the Revolution of 1917 and the fate of the Russian poets.

Nina Guerra e Filipe Guerra
(curators of the event)
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