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Events

The SCRSS organises a regular programme of lectures, film shows, exhibitions, seminars and other events at its premises in London. The Society is also involved in educational and commemorative events associated with the Soviet War Memorial in London. Events are open to both SCRSS members and non-members, unless otherwise stated.

Please note: dogs are not permitted on SCRSS premises, with the exception of guide dogs.

Venue and Tickets

Most events take place at the SCRSS. Evening events normally start at 19.00, with tea and coffee served from 18.30.

Lecture and film tickets cost £3.00 (members) and £5.00 (non-members), unless otherwise stated. For all other events, please see individual listings below.

2016 Events Diary

January July
February August
March September
April October
May November
June December

January 2016

From Thursday 14 January until Thursday 10 March, 18.00-20.00
Evening Class: Russian Language for Post-Beginners (Term 2)


Our weekly Russian language course for post-beginners / lower intermediate level assumes approximately 60 hours of previous study. Term 2 lasts 9 weeks. The course focuses on oral practice, based around topics, with grammar revision. It is led by Christine Barnard, a highly experienced teacher of Russian who taught at the University of Westminster for many years. Numbers are limited to a maximum of 12 students.

Fee: £25.00 payable in advance (no concessions). We accept payment by cheque (payable to SCRSS) or by bank transfer (email a request for details).

Please note: This course is open to SCRSS members only.

Friday 15 January, 19.00
Lecture: David Lane on Prospects for Russia and Eurasia in the World Economic System


In his lecture Dr Lane outlines the challenges facing Russia and the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU). He contends that the future development of the EEU has to be considered in a global perspective that includes the European Union and BRICS countries (particularly China).

Dr Lane is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and an Emeritus Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge. His recent work includes The Capitalist Transformation of State Socialism: The Making and Breaking of State Socialism and What Followed; and (with Vsevolod Samokhvalov) The Eurasian Project and Europe.

Please note: Normal entrance fees apply (members £3.00 / non-members £5.00).

Wednesday 27 January, 10.00
Event: Holocaust Memorial Day at the Soviet War Memorial


This year's act of commemoration for Holocaust Memorial Day marks the 71st anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp, by the Soviet (Red) Army in 1945. The event is organised by the Soviet Memorial Trust Fund (SMTF) and Southwark Council, in co-operation with the Imperial War Museum, London. The event begins in the cinema of the Imperial War Museum at 10.00. Directly following this indoor ceremony, participants will move outside to the Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park for a wreath-laying ceremony at the Soviet War Memorial and London Borough of Southwark's Holocaust Memorial Tree. The event will finish by 11.45.

To attend the event in the Imperial War Museum's cinema, please RSVP directly to the Mayor of Southwark's Office as places are limited (Tel: 020-7525-7303, Email: mayors.office@southwark.gov.uk).

To lay a wreath at the Soviet War Memorial and / or Holocaust Memorial Tree, please contact the SMTF Honorary Chair on smtf@hotmail.co.uk.

The Soviet War Memorial is located in Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park, London Borough of Southwark, adjacent to the Imperial War Museum.

Friday 29 January, 19.00
Event : Documentary Film Screening of Soviet Sports Wars and Secret Soviet Moon Mission with Q&A


Colin Clarke is a freelance cinematographer who has worked on broadcast documentaries worldwide for forty years. He shot these two documentary films in 1998 for an investigative series Red Files. Secret Soviet Moon Mission documents the amazing achievements of the Russian space programme during the Cold War. Soviet Sports Wars investigates the highs and lows of the fights for the Olympics and the ice hockey championships. Folllowed by a Q&A session.

Please note: Normal entrance fees apply (SCRSS members £3.00 / non-members £5.00).

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February 2016

Friday 12 February, 19.00
Lecture: Karen Hewitt on What’s Happening in Russia? The Views and Values of Ordinary Russians


Karen Hewitt talks about developments and changes in Russian policies, as seen and evaluated by Russians from more than twenty different cities. Karen has spent the last twenty-five years teaching in Russian universities and travelling the country for up to two months a year. She has been a publisher in Russia, runs a project on English literature involving seventy Russian universities, and was awarded an MBE in 2014 for building academic and cultural understanding between the UK and Russia. She tries to focus on ordinary Russians and their (often very articulate) views of the world and their country. Her other work is as a tutor in literature at Oxford University Department for Continuing Education.

Please note: Normal entrance fees apply to this event (members £3.00 / non-members £5.00).

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March 2016

Friday 4 March, 19.00
Lecture: Nicholas Deakin (with Jean Turner) on Radiant Illusion? Middle-Class Recruits to Communism in the 1930s


The book Radiant Illusion?, published in 2015 by Eden Valley Editions, tells the story that is too often seen through the distorting prism of Cold War values. The essays in the book present a more balanced picture of the recruits' beliefs and actions, one in which they emerge as intelligent and sensitive people, well aware of the implications of the decisions that they took in the highly stressful political circumstances of the times. Hindsight shows that some of their judgements were wrong, but their errors should not be allowed to devalue the genuine idealism that motivated them at the time - and subsequently. Radiant Illusion? is a book that draws on archives, family papers and personal memories, including individual case studies. These materials were originally presented at public lectures and seminars at Gresham College, London, in 2013 and 2014 (see www.gresham.ac.uk). The late Jack Gaster, one-time President of the SCRSS, was one such recruit. His son-in-law Nicholas Deakin, retired Professor of Social Policy and Administration at the University of Birmingham, discusses the book and its contribution to the studies of this period. Nicholas Deakin wrote the introductory chapter and co-ordinated publication of the book. Jean Turner, SCRSS Hon Treasurer and former SCRSS Hon Secretary (for almost thirty years until 2013) also talks about Jack and his connection with the SCRSS.

Normal entrance fees apply (SCRSS members £3.00 / non-members £5.00).

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April 2016

From Thursday 7 April until Thursday 2 June, 18.00-20.00
Evening Class: Russian Language for Post-Beginners (Term 3)

Our weekly Russian language course for post-beginners / lower intermediate level course focuses on oral practice, based around topics, with grammar revision. Term 3 lasts 9 weeks. The class is led by Christine Barnard, a highly experienced teacher of Russian who taught at the University of Westminster for many years. Numbers are limited to a maximum of 10 students - please contact the SCRSS to check availability.

Fee: £25.00 payable in advance (no concessions). We accept payment by cheque (payable to SCRSS) or by bank transfer (email a request for details).

Please note: This course is open to SCRSS members only.

Saturday 16 April - Sunday 17 April, 10.15 - 16.45 daily
Event: 8th SCRSS Russian Language Seminar


Our popular two-day seminar offers an intensive lecture programme in Russian, aimed at teachers of Russian, translators, final-year undergraduates and graduates of Russian, and all those with an advanced-level comprehension of spoken Russian and an interest in contemporary Russia. The lecture programme has two parallel streams: Russian language and linguistics, and Russian humanities and social sciences stream. The programme is led by two senior lecturers from St Petersburg State University, Russia: Tatiana Piotrovskaya and Dr Vadim Golubev. View full lecture programme, booking and fee details.

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May 2016

Monday 9 May, 11.00
Event: Victory Day at the Soviet War Memorial


This year’s ceremony at the Soviet War Memorial marks the 71st anniversary of the Allied Victory over Fascism in World War II.

10.15: Standard bearers should arrive and report to the Parade Marshal.
10.30: Other participants, in particular wreath-layers, should arrive. Wreath-layers should report to the SMTF Honorary Secretary, near the Soviet War Memorial, to receive the order of wreath-laying.
11.00: The Act of Remembrance commences and is expected to last approximately one hour.

To register your interest in attending, please email the SMTF Honorary Secretary on smtf@hotmail.co.uk.

Please note: limited seating is available and is intended primarily for veterans and older participants. As there is no parking in the driveway in front of the Imperial War Museum and only limited parking on Lambeth Road and nearby streets, we recommend that participants arrive by public transport.

The Soviet War Memorial is located in Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park, London Borough of Southwark, adjacent to the Imperial War Museum.

Saturday 21 May, 11.00 - 13.00
Event: SCRSS Annual General Meeting


Please note: The AGM is open to SCRSS members only.

Saturday 21 May, 14.00
Lecture: Tom Sibley on The Soviet Union and the Spanish Civil War (1936 - 1939)

This year marks the 80th anniversary of the formation of the International Brigade. Forty thousand volunteers from over forty countries went to Spain to defend the Republic against the fascist military coup led by General Franco, who was strongly supported with arms and men by Nazi Germany and Mussolini's Italy. Organised by the Comintern, following an initiative by the Soviet Union, the actions of the International Brigade were an outstanding example of international solidarity - arguably the most significant in the history of the international labour movement. The leadership of the Soviet Union was crucial in keeping the Spanish Republic alive in the face of insuperable odds. Yet the role of the international communist movement remains highly contested as critics from both the right and sections of the left question Stalin's motives and actions. In his lecture Tom Sibley addresses the main arguments raised in this ongoing debate. Dr Sibley is a retired trade union official. He is a trustee of the Marx Memorial Library which holds the largest archive outside Spain of materials relating to the British Battalion of the International Brigade.

Please note: The lecture is free to SCRSS members who attend the preceding AGM (see above), otherwise normal entrance fees apply (members £3.00 / non-members £5.00).

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June 2016

Friday 3 June, 19.00
Lecture: Robert Chandler on ‘Memories’ by Teffi


Robert Chandler, translator and SCRSS Vice-President, talks about his translation (with Elizabeth Chandler, Anne Marie Jackson and Irina Steinberg) of Teffi’s Memories: From Moscow to the Black Sea, due for publication by Pushkin Press in May 2016. This is the first English-language version of the writer and satirist Teffi’s account of her journey into exile following the Russian Revolution. In addition to translations of Andrei Platonov, Vasily Grossman, Pushkin and many other Russian writers and poets, Robert Chandler is also editor of the Penguin Book of Russian Poetry, Russian Short Stories from Pushkin to Buida and Russian Magic Tales from Pushkin to Platonov.

Pushkin Press are also, simultaneously, publishing a collection of Teffi’s shorter memoirs and autobiographical stories, titled Rasputin and Other Ironies.

Please note: Normal entrance fees apply to this event (members £3.00 / non-members £5.00).

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July 2016

Summer recess.

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August 2016

Summer recess.

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September 2016

Friday 23 September, 19.00
Lecture: Jonathan Steele on Memories of 1991: Twenty-Five Years On

Jonathan Steele was The Guardian's Bureau Chief in Moscow from 1988 to 1994. In that capacity he closely covered the collapse of the CPSU and the USSR, winning the International Reporter of the Year title in the British Press awards for 1991. He was one of the few British reporters who was not away from Russia on holiday in August 1991 when the coup against Mikhail Gorbachev was launched. He was in the Russian parliament when Yeltsin mounted a tank, and two days later became the only British reporter to travel to the Crimea and interview Gorbachev as the Soviet president was being freed from house arrest in his seaside villa at Foros. In his talk Jonathan will recall these and other events in the Baltics, the Caucasus and Moscow from the tumultuous year of 1991.

Jonathan Steele joined The Guardian in 1965 as a trainee reporter in the Manchester office after education at Cambridge and Yale. In 1968 he became East European correspondent, based in London, where he also wrote leaders on foreign affairs. As East European correspondent he travelled frequently to the USSR and the Warsaw Pact states until being posted to Washington in 1975, where he stayed until 1979. Back in London he worked as Foreign News Editor until he became Chief Foreign Correspondent in 1982, a job that took him to cover wars in Southern Africa and Central America, as well as the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan. Jonathan has written books on the German Democratic Republic, South Africa (The South African Connection: Western Investment in Apartheid, with Ruth First and Christabel Gurney), and Russia (Andropov in Power, 1983, The Limits of Soviet Power, 1984, and Eternal Russia, 1994). He has also written books on Iraq and Afghanistan.

Normal entrance fees apply (SCRSS members £3.00 / non-members £5.00).

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October 2016

From Thursday 6 October to Thursday 8 December, 18.00-20.00
Evening Class: Russian Language for Post-Beginners (Term 1)

Our weekly Russian language course for post-beginners / lower intermediate level resumes, running for 10 weeks. This year we will be using the Ruslan 3 textbook, supplemented by basic grammar revision. The course is led by Christine Barnard, a highly experienced teacher of Russian who taught at the University of Westminster for many years. Numbers are limited to a maximum of 12 students.

Fee: 40 per term (SCRSS members), 60 per term (non-members). The fee is payable in advance (no concessions available). We accept payment by cheque (payable to SCRSS) or by bank transfer (email us to request our bank details).

Friday 21 October, 19.00
Lecture: Professor Bill Bowring on The European Union Response to the Crisis in Ukraine


Was Russia justified in 'annexing' Crimea in 2014? Was Crimea part of Russia or of Ukraine? What was the Crimean War of 1853-6 about? Did Ukraine exist before World War II? Who are the Crimean Tatars? Are they the indigenous people of Crimea? What are their rights? Why did Ukraine refuse them citizenship when they started to return in the 1980s? Why has Russia now banned their representative body, the Mejlis? Bill Bowring has been travelling to Crimea and working with the Crimean Tatars, Ukrainians and Russians since the 1990s, and will try to answer these questions in his talk..

Bill Bowring, BA, Barrister, is Professor of Law in the School of Law, Birkbeck College, University of London. He is a practising barrister at Field Court Chambers, Gray's Inn. He has previously held posts at the University of East London, University of Essex, and London Metropolitan University, and was Director of the Pan-European Institute, University of Essex from 1997-2000, and Director of the Human Rights and Social Justice Research Institute, London Metropolitan University, from 2003-2006. He is currently a Fellow of the Human Rights Centre at the University of Essex, a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, and a Visiting Professor at the University of Northampton. Professor Bowring has many publications on topics of international law, human rights, and the law of Russia and other Former Soviet Union. His latest book on Russia is Law, Rights and Ideology in Russia: Landmarks in the Destiny of a Great Power (Routledge, 2013). Professor Bowring is also President of the SCRSS.

Normal entrance fees apply (SCRSS members £3.00 / non-members £5.00).

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November 2016

Friday 25 November, 19.00
Lecture: Margaret Fleming-Makarian on The Hidden Allegory of Tchaikovsky's 'The Nutcracker'

Margaret Fleming-Makarian talks about Tchaikovsky’s hugely popular 1892 ballet The Nutcracker. The Nutcracker is often seen as simply a fantastic entertainment: a young girl’s Christmas dream-journey with her Nutcracker-Prince to a mysterious Far Eastern palace. However, Margaret Fleming-Makarian looks deeper, seeing not simply a melding of Hoffman's 1816 tale and Dumas' 1845 translation-adaptation, but noting a symbolic meaning in most of the narrative and visual elements. This lecture is based on the author's latest book The Original Nutcracker Ballet: A Hidden Allegory (2014). The book investigates the ballet's occult symbolism, revealing an allegory of freedom - political, economic and social freedom, as well as spiritual freedom from metempsychosis back into the world. See book review in the SCRSS Digest, Summer 2015 issue.

Margaret Fleming-Markarian spent her professional life teaching dance. Now retired, she researches the classic ballets, drawing upon her practical experience, as well as early training at the Benesh Institute of Choreology, and academic education in European and Art History at the University of Edinburgh. Centring her research on the Sergeev choreographic scores in the Harvard Theatre Collection and the Royal Academy of Dance Library in London, she seeks to build a meaningful visual context for the original classic choreographies through their original designs and sets preserved in St Petersburg.

Normal entrance fees apply (SCRSS members £3.00 / non-members £5.00).

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December 2016

Event programme to be confirmed.

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SCRSS exhibition poster - Soviet Modernist Art and Design 1917 - 1991(copyright SCRSS)

 

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Soviet War Memorial

 

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