6th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center

Spaces of (Post-) Soviet Dissent in Russia

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Webcast Recap

James H. Billington Seminar on Russian History and Culture

Recent mass protest rallies in Russia are often analyzed in terms of their economic and political ramifications. This panel will instead consider the historical context of protest activism in contemporary Russia. Participants will examine how different contemporary political activists and artists perpetuate, deconstruct, or subvert both the official line as well as dissent traditions in contesting state monopoly over the public space.

The Kennan Institute’s Billington Fellow Dmitry Kozlov will consider the spatial dimension of public protests in the Soviet Union and Russia. He will be joined by Professor Kevin Platt of the University of Pennsylvania, who will examine anti-state aesthetics in the post-modern politics, and Mikhail Nemtsev, who will discuss absurdist protest movements in Novosibirsk.

The seminar will be followed by a light reception.

The James H. Billington Seminar on Russian History and Culture is made possible through generous support for the Billington Initiative at the Kennan Institute.


Above Image: Meeting of the "Democratic Union." March 12, 1989, USSR. Photo Credit: Archives at the Research and Information Center "Memorial."


  • Dmitry Kozlov

    James Billington Fellow
    Research fellow at Research and Information Centre "Memorial"
  • Kevin Platt

    Short-Term Grant
    Edmund J. and Louise W. Kahn Term Professor in the Humanities, East European and Russian Studies, University of Pennsylvania
  • Mikhail Nemtsev

    Assistant Director, Jacques Rossi Memorial Fund for Gulag Research, Georgetown University