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Presented by Brooklyn Institute for Social Research and New York Review Books

Ambivalence and Revolution

Dmitri Shostakovich, Vasily Grossman, and Soviet Art Under Stalin
Thursday, April 22, 2021 6:30 PM Online
For composer Dmitri Shostakovich and writer Vasily Grossman, the experience of making art in Stalinist Russia was fraught, hazardous, and privileged—not to mention emotionally, politically, and artistically complex. The art they made, at times officially lauded and other times suppressed, resists easy categorization. How can we understand the position of the artist in Soviet Russia, particularly during the period between the Revolution and the final destruction of Nazi Germany? How can we understand the art Shostakovich and Grossman produced? Is it celebratory, dissident, or ambivalent—and why does it matter? In Ambivalence and Revolution, participants explore and discuss the music of Shostakovich and the novels of Grossman, as well as the conditions in which they were made. 

Part of: Voices of Hope

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