How to rebuild reality and maybe get away with it

Art can be a tool to construct a common political front. The real challenge is what to do with that identity. Lithuanian Pavilion There’s an old joke in Italy, which goes something like this: “We are a country with 59.999.999 outstanding football coaches, with the exception for the actual trainer”. We tend to judge actions… Continue reading How to rebuild reality and maybe get away with it

The Façade of Fiscal Federalism in Russia

Since the early days of privatization, political conflicts between Moscow and Russia’s other regions have helped determine the contours of the country’s political space. Tax revenue centralization is one such outcome of this constant tension. For instance, the percentage of levied funds which are allocated directly to federal subjects fell from 65% in 1999 to… Continue reading The Façade of Fiscal Federalism in Russia

The Dark Prophecies of ‘The Congress’

Fevers are dangerously useful tools, in storytelling as in human biology. The same way they overheat the body to exterminate undesired pathogens, a narrative fever can melt away the vices accumulates in decades of genre cinema, franchise-building and Hollywood homogenization. In physics, heat is created by the random oscillation of atoms. In storytelling, this would… Continue reading The Dark Prophecies of ‘The Congress’

‘Roma’ and ‘The Favourite’: The Impact Citizens can have on Political Life

It’s normal not to feel in control. Despite how much we’re told that we’re able to steer our lives, it’s hard to dispute that some of the crucial facts of our existence are mostly determined away from our grasp. This may well be the truth cementing the very foundation of cinema. Stories, in their most… Continue reading ‘Roma’ and ‘The Favourite’: The Impact Citizens can have on Political Life

Hostages of Mythology

Gregory Carleton’s “Russia: The Story of War” masterfully dissects the fiction of Russia as a country under siege — despite perpetuating its myth. Sitting on the train connecting Moscow to Minsk, roughly halfway through, travellers will notice a stop called Vyazma. It’s a town of roughly 60.000 inhabitants sprinkled with orthodox churches, a branch of the University of… Continue reading Hostages of Mythology

The United Nations in Mali: A New Approach to Peacekeeping?

Impartiality has been one of the guiding principles of United Nations peacekeeping since the organization’s inception. This principle has been applied from the first deployment of blue helmets between Egyptian and Israeli troops in 1956, after the Suez Crisis. This operation supported the role of the UN as a facilitator of inter-state settlements. As a… Continue reading The United Nations in Mali: A New Approach to Peacekeeping?

Russkiy Business: Russia’s “Franchise” Diplomacy

At the end of October, Verona hosted the 11th Eurasian Economic Forum, which was one of 2018’s most anticipated business conferences. The importance of the forum is evident if we consider the participation of VIPs such as Rosneft’s CEO Igor Sechin. His presence has attracted most of the spotlight, mainly because of the recent difficulties… Continue reading Russkiy Business: Russia’s “Franchise” Diplomacy

Evgeniya Chirikova, Russia’s Constant Gardener

“It’s important that the Russians understand that resistance is possible”.  A conversation with Evgeniya Chirikova, one of Russia’s most prominent environmental activists. Evgeniya Chirikova’s days are, for the lack of a better word, normal. She wakes up in the early morning, sends her children to school, and reads the news before starting to work. Her… Continue reading Evgeniya Chirikova, Russia’s Constant Gardener