Transborder Café: The Russian Trace in the West

Transborder Café: The Russian Trace in the West

Tonight we will trace Russian influence in a broader cultural-historic context. We will talk about the «Russian trace» in the formation of Western (European) liberal democracy, contrary to the usual claim that «the Russian» usually equals the reactionary, the traditionalist or the totalitarian – we rather talk about the Russian contribution to the very foundation of the Scandinavian model of social democracy!

We will discuss how the «Russian avant-garde» influenced modern Western design, contemporary art and architecture. We will find the Russian connection in western rock and pop music – from The Beatles’ «Back in USSR» and The Rollings Stones’ «Sympathy for The Devil» to Russian influence on post-punk and electronic music.

And once again – about historical traces of cooperation between Russian and Norwegian poets, communists and partisans with Kirkenes as their hub.


Kirill Kobrin is a writer, historian and journalist. He is an editor of the Russian intellectual journal «Неприкосновенный Запас», and the author of more than 20 books and numerous publications in Russian and European press.

Owen Hatherley writes regularly on architecture, culture and politics for the Architectural Review, Dezeen, the Guardian, and the London Review of Books. He is the culture editor of Tribune, and the author of ten books.

Kjartan Fløgstad is one of the best-known authors associated with magic realism in Norway, he has written scores of books; both fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Several are dedicated to our borderland and Russia.

Alt Går Bra pursues affirmative aesthetic forms, elaborated through philosophical and historical inquiries. For the festival project, the artists bind together the local miners’ union «Nordens klippe», Ellisif Wessel’s story, the war period and the collective memory of the border community.

Moderator, Yngvar B. Steinholt is an associate professor of Russian culture and literature at UiT – Norwegian Arctic University, and the author of books and publications on popular music and art activism in Russia.

Friday 14th Feb
19:00
Ritz
kr 100,-