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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 (SCRSS members) and £5.00 (non-members), unless otherwise stated. For all other events, please see individual listings below. Please note: tickets are payable by cash only on the door (unfortunately, we are unable to accept debit or credit cards).

2020 Events Diary

January 2020 July 2020
February 2020 August 2020
March 2020 September 2020
April 2020 October 2020
May 2020 November 2020
June 2020 December 2020

January 2020

Thursday 23 January to Thursday 20 February, and Thursday 12 March to Thursday 26 March 2020, 17.45 - 19.45
Evening Class: Russian Language for Good Intermediate Level (Spring Term 2)

This term's 8-week course is led by Christine Barnard, former lecturer in Russian at the University of Westminster, and uses Ruslan 3 as the textbook. Maximum 10 students.

Fees: £40 per term (SCRSS members), £60 per term (non-members). Full fee payable at start of term by cash or cheque only.

Friday 24 January 2020, 19.00
Talk: Ed Pulford on Mirrorlands - the Russia-China Border


The Russia-China borderlands offer a unique vantage point from which to understand the myriad peoples, places and political cataclysms that have united and divided the world's largest countries by territory and population respectively. With a unique past and present as home to frontier-traversing tradespeople, cross-border indigenous groups, local populations wrestling with ideas of 'Europe' and 'Asia', migrants, exiles, and twenty-first century backpackers, this juncture of worlds reveals a side to Russia-China relations little known even to Muscovites or Beijingers.

Ed Pulford discusses his recent book Mirrorlands and offers insight into these entangled pasts and presents. Mirrorlands is based on a single journey through Siberia, Inner Mongolia, the Russian Far East and Manchuria, but Ed also draws on his wider experiences in the region. Through encounters with borderland residents from diverse ethnic and linguistic backgrounds, we learn much about how each old Eurasian empire has ruled its domain before, during and since socialism, and how ordinary lives have reflected each other across the borderline. This in turn aids us in better understanding two countries that are as misrepresented as they are important in today's world. Visit Hurst Publishers' website for more information about the book.

Ed Pulford is a Cambridge-trained linguist and social anthropologist who has spent over eight years living in the Russian Far East, China, Korea and Japan. He now works as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Amsterdam.

The talk is open to both SCRSS members and non-members. Normal entrance fees apply: SCRSS members £3.00 / non-members £5.00. Pay cash on entry.

Monday 27 January 2020
Event: Holocaust Memorial Day Ceremony at the Soviet War Memorial, London


The commemoration is organised by the Soviet War Memorial Trust (SWMT) and Southwark Council. Details to be confirmed in January.

The Soviet War Memorial was unveiled in 1999 on the initiative of the SCRSS and the Society has been supporting the work of the SWMT since its foundation. The SWMT organises three main ceremonies at the Memorial each year to mark Holocaust Memorial Day (January); Victory Day (9 May) and Remembrance Sunday (November).

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February 2020

Saturday 1 February 2020, 11.00 - 16.00
Event: SCRSS Saturday Library Opening for Members


The Loan Library and General Reference Library will be open for use by members without prior appointment. SCRSS Russian mugs, de-acquired books and a selection of donated Soviet / Russian souvenirs will be on sale. You can deal with your membership renewal or even join the SCRSS on the spot to take advantage of access to the SCRSS Loan Library.

SCRSS members only.

Saturday 1 February 2020, 14.00
Talk: Andrew Jameson on Why Russian is the Best Language for Poetry


What is so special about Russian poetry? Surely the basic elements of language are the same in all literary cultures? In this talk Andrew Jameson discusses the various special features of Russian: its sound system, its multiplicity of word endings, the wealth and variety of word-building elements, and finally its freedom of word order which make Russian a uniquely flexible medium for the creation of poetry. The talk will be richly illustrated with bizarre and fascinating examples, and a handout provided. A knowledge of Russian and / or linguistics is helpful if attending this talk.

Andrew Jameson taught Russian language and culture at Portsmouth and Lancaster universities, and organised many popular residential courses for adults at Knuston Hall, Alston Hall, Essex, UEA and Lancaster. His particular interests are the Russian avant-garde in its various manifestations and the cultural history of the Russian language. Since retirement he has often lectured in St Petersburg, Moscow and Khabarovsk. He now works as a professional translator.

The talk is open to both SCRSS members and non-members. Normal entrance fees apply: SCRSS members £3.00 / non-members £5.00. Pay cash on entry.

Friday 21 February 2020, 19.00
Talk: Jessica Sutcliffe on Helen Muspratt: Photographing the Soviet Union in 1937


Born in 1907 in India where she spent the first seven years of her life before her family returned to England, Helen Muspratt was a lifelong communist, a member of the Cambridge intellectual milieu of the 1930s, and a working mother. She was also a pioneering photographer who worked in partnership with Lettice Ramsey, making portraits of eminent scientists, writers and members of the Bloomsbury group, many of whom were active in left-wing politics. Both women were captivated by recent developments in photography, in particular Man Ray's technique of solarisation, and rayograph and multiple exposure techniques. Helen Muspratt was also a talented a documentary photographer. In 1937, in a visit organised by the Society for Cultural Relations with the USSR (today's SCRSS), she went to the Soviet Union with a group of architects, visiting Leningrad and Moscow and then travelling down the Volga in a steamer to Stalingrad. Her photographs of this trip are mainly of ordinary Russians in markets, women working on collective farms and children in creches. She later made the photographs into a filmstrip to present at Workers Education Association classes and women’s institutes.

Jessica Sutcliffe is Helen Muspratt's daughter and the author of Face: Shape and Angle: Helen Muspratt, Photographer (2016, Manchester University Press). The book reproduces Helen's most important photographic images, including documentary records of the Soviet Union, and includes an accompanying memoir of her mother by Jessica.

The talk is open to both SCRSS members and non-members. Normal entrance fees apply: SCRSS members £3.00 / non-members £5.00. Pay cash on entry.

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March 2020

Saturday 7 March 2020, 11.00 - 16.00
Event: SCRSS Saturday Library Opening for Members


The Loan Library and General Reference Library will be open for use by members without prior appointment. SCRSS mugs, de-acquired books and a selection of donated Soviet / Russian souvenirs will be on sale. You can deal with your membership renewal or even join the SCRSS on the spot to take advantage of access to the SCRSS Loan Library.

SCRSS members only.

Saturday 7 March 2020, 14.00
Talk: John Allan on Allied Aid to Russia via the Persian Gulf 1941-45


While awareness of the Arctic Convoys to Northern Russia has been growing, John Allan researched this relatively unknown aspect of Allied wartime co-operation while completing a Master's degree in Maritime History. Further details to follow.

The talk is open to both SCRSS members and non-members. Normal entrance fees apply: SCRSS members £3.00 / non-members £5.00. Pay cash on entry.

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April 2020

Saturday 4 - Sunday 5 April 2020, 10.00 - 16.30 daily
Event: SCRSS Advanced Russian Language Seminar


Booking now open. Our popular advanced Russian language seminar is taught by two senior lecturers direct from St Petersburg - Dr Svetlana Bukreeva and Tatiana Piotrovskaya. It is aimed at teachers, translators and interpreters of Russian, as well as all those with an advanced level comprehension of spoken Russian and an interest in Russia. Participants can book for one or both days. Each day includes four 70-minute sessions, with participants choosing from one of two options, either on a Russian linguistics or 'stranovedenie' topic.

See our Seminars and Special Events web page for the full lecture programme, lecturer biographies, fees and booking form.

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May 2020

Saturday 2 May 2020, 11.00 - 16.00
Event: SCRSS Saturday Library Opening for Members


The Loan Library and General Reference Library will be open for use by members without prior appointment. SCRSS mugs, de-acquired books and a selection of donated Soviet / Russian souvenirs will be on sale. You can deal with your membership renewal or even join the SCRSS on the spot to take advantage of access to the SCRSS Loan Library.

SCRSS members only.

Saturday 9 May 2020
Event: Victory Day - SWMT Act of Remembrance at the Soviet War Memorial, London


Act of Remembrance at the Soviet War Memorial to mark the 75th anniversary of the Allied Victory over Fascism. Details to be confirmed.

The memorial is situated in Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park, adjacent to the Imperial War Museum, Lambeth Road, Southwark, London SE1 6HZ.

The Soviet War Memorial was unveiled in 1999 on the initiative of the SCRSS and the Society has been supporting the work of the SWMT since its foundation. The SWMT organises three main ceremonies at the Memorial each year to mark Holocaust Memorial Day (January); Victory Day (9 May) and Remembrance Sunday (November).

Saturday 16 May 2020, 11.00 - 13.00
Event: SCRSS Annual General Meeting


The AGM will discuss the Annual Report and Accounts for the Society, as well as elect members of the SCRSS Council. The meeting provides an excellent opportunity for members to question the Honorary Secretary and Honorary Treasurer and other members of the SCRSS Council, as well as discuss the events of the previous twelve months and the future development of the Society.

The AGM is open to SCRSS members only.

Saturday 16 May 2020, 14.00
Talk: Edward Ochagavia on My Stalingrad Childhood


Edward Ochagavia was born in Stalingrad (now Volgograd) in 1937 in a mixed nationality family. His father Lawrence Ochagavia was an American engineer of Spanish / Basque origin, who had accepted an invitation by the Soviet government in 1923 to serve for one or two years as a specialist engineer in Soviet Russia, but afterwards stayed on. He worked in different industrial complexes of the USSR, but mostly (for more than twelve years) in the Stalingrad Tractor Works (STZ) responsible for the creation of diesel engines for the first Soviet tractors. He married a Russian woman, Anna Lobanova, in Stalingrad and the family remained in the city during the early stages of the 1942-43 Battle of Stalingrad.

After the war Edward Ochagavia moved with his parents to the small port town of Liepaja (Libava) in Latvia, where he completed his schooling. He then studied at the Leningrad University medical school, subsequently working for twelve years as a doctor and research scientist in Latvia and Leningrad before emigrating to the UK in 1974. He worked in the BBC Russian Service as a broadcaster and as editor of the Your Health radio journal for nearly twenty-five years. He retired from the BBC in 2002.

The talk is open to both SCRSS members and non-members. Please note: The talk is free to SCRSS members who have attended the AGM, otherwise normal entrance fees apply: SCRSS members £3.00 / non-members £5.00. Pay cash on entry.

Friday 29 May 2020, 19.00
Talk: Christine Lindey on Soviet and Western Representations of Workers c 1930 to c 1970

The stereotypical idea of Soviet depictions of workers as shiny-faced, impossibly energetic men and women ever enthusiastic for endless work, still prevails in the West. As does the assumption that few Western artists tackled the subject; and that there was little interaction between artists of the two power blocks. In her talk Christine Lindey explains the far more complex, nuanced and changing depictions of this subject, including the rarely discussed influences between artists across the ideological divide.

Christine Lindey is an art historian with a particular interest in socialist art. Art for All: British Socially Committed from the 1930s to the Cold War (2018) is her fifth book. Art in the Cold War: from Vladivostok to Kalamazoo (1990), which pioneered the comparative study of Soviet and Western art, is the most influential so far. A graduate of the Courtauld Institute, she was formerly an Associate Lecturer at Birkbeck College and at the University of the Arts, London. She will speak at the Oxford Literary Festival in March 2020.

The talk is open to both SCRSS members and non-members. Normal entrance fees apply: SCRSS members £3.00 / non-members £5.00. Pay cash on entry.

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June 2020

Saturday 6 June 2020, 11.00 - 16.00
Event: SCRSS Saturday Library Opening for Members


The Loan Library and General Reference Library will be open for use by members without prior appointment. SCRSS mugs, de-acquired books and a selection of donated Soviet / Russian souvenirs will be on sale. You can deal with your membership renewal or even join the SCRSS on the spot to take advantage of access to the SCRSS Loan Library.

SCRSS members only.

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July 2020

Saturday 4 July 2020, 11.00 - 16.00
Event: SCRSS Saturday Library Opening for Members


The Loan Library and General Reference Library will be open for use by members without prior appointment. SCRSS mugs, de-acquired books and a selection of donated Soviet / Russian souvenirs will be on sale. You can deal with your membership renewal or even join the SCRSS on the spot to take advantage of access to the SCRSS Loan Library.

SCRSS members only.

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August 2020

Saturday 1 August 2020, 11.00 - 16.00
Event: SCRSS Saturday Library Opening for Members


The Loan Library and General Reference Library will be open for use by members without prior appointment. SCRSS mugs, de-acquired books and a selection of donated Soviet / Russian souvenirs will be on sale. You can deal with your membership renewal or even join the SCRSS on the spot to take advantage of access to the SCRSS Loan Library.

SCRSS members only.

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September 2020

Saturday 5 September 2020, 11.00 - 16.00
Event: SCRSS Saturday Library Opening for Members


The Loan Library and General Reference Library will be open for use by members without prior appointment. SCRSS mugs, de-acquired books and a selection of donated Soviet / Russian souvenirs will be on sale. You can deal with your membership renewal or even join the SCRSS on the spot to take advantage of access to the SCRSS Loan Library.

SCRSS members only.

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October 2020

Saturday 3 October 2020, 11.00 - 16.00
Event: SCRSS Saturday Library Opening for Members


The Loan Library and General Reference Library will be open for use by members without prior appointment. SCRSS mugs, de-acquired books and a selection of donated Soviet / Russian souvenirs will be on sale. You can deal with your membership renewal or even join the SCRSS on the spot to take advantage of access to the SCRSS Loan Library.

SCRSS members only.

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November 2020

Saturday 7 November 2020, 11.00 - 16.00
Event: SCRSS Saturday Library Opening for Members


The Loan Library and General Reference Library will be open for use by members without prior appointment. SCRSS mugs, de-acquired books and a selection of donated Soviet / Russian souvenirs will be on sale. You can deal with your membership renewal or even join the SCRSS on the spot to take advantage of access to the SCRSS Loan Library.

SCRSS members only.

Saturday 8 November 2020
Event: Remembrance Sunday - SWMT Act of Remembrance at the Soviet War Memorial, London


Act of Remembrance at the Soviet War Memorial. Details to be confirmed.

The memorial is situated in Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park, adjacent to the Imperial War Museum, Lambeth Road, Southwark, London SE1 6HZ.

The Soviet War Memorial was unveiled in 1999 on the initiative of the SCRSS and the Society has been supporting the work of the SWMT since its foundation. The SWMT organises three main ceremonies at the Memorial each year to mark Holocaust Memorial Day (January); Victory Day (9 May) and Remembrance Sunday (November).

Back to top

December 2020

Saturday 5 December 2020, 11.00 - 16.00
Event: SCRSS Saturday Library Opening for Members


The Loan Library and General Reference Library will be open for use by members without prior appointment. SCRSS mugs, de-acquired books and a selection of donated Soviet / Russian souvenirs will be on sale. You can deal with your membership renewal or even join the SCRSS on the spot to take advantage of access to the SCRSS Loan Library.

SCRSS members only.

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

 

Related Links

Soviet War Memorial

 

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