March 01, 2021

On Creativity

When we finally assemble an issue of Russian Life, we have been planning, assigning, translating and editing its stories over a period of weeks and months. And then, when the stories come together into a single issue, patterns or themes start to emerge.

The geographical arc we can map through the stories in this issue stretches from the mountains of Ossetia in the South, through Chernobyl in Ukraine, the Ust-Luga region just beyond St. Petersburg, and on up to the Arctic city of Kirovsk. Yes, there is the outlier of the story on the Irkutsk artist, but then you always need an exception to prove the rule.

The thematic arc that unites our features is that of creativity in the face of neglect, persistence in the face of oppression, resilience in the face of difficulty. And also there is the eternal dichotomy of private and public in society: of the individual’s quest for spontaneity and autonomy in the face of state and societal pressure for conformity and loyalty.

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Russian Life is a publication of a 30-year-young, award-winning publishing house that creates a bimonthly magazine, books, maps, and other products for Russophiles the world over.

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