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‘Eastern European for Dummies’ by There There Theatre Company

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The provocative title Eastern European for Dummies, an ‘interactive immigration piece’ by There There theatre company, certainly gave a sense of what this show promised. At the start, only fifteen audience members were allowed into the room, equipped with an activity pack about Eastern Europeans (or, to use the abbreviation, EEs). Onstage an interactive exhibition…

Julia Secklehner | 22/03/2016
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‘The Burning Gadulka’ by Rayko Baychev, reviewed by Judith Fagelson

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The gadulka’s role in a Bulgarian folk orchestra might be compared the viola’s in a Western classical orchestra. Like the viola, it has bowed strings. Like the viola, it supports the other instruments, providing a sort of musical backbone, but doesn’t quite work as a solo instrument. And, like violists, gadulka players find themselves the…

Judith Fagelson | 10/03/2016
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Dan Cruickshank: ‘Warsaw: Resurrecting History’ – reviewed by Olenka Hamilton

Dan Cruickshank is a writer, art historian, architectural consultant and broadcaster who’s made numerous history and culture programmes for the BBC including Around the World in Eighty Treasures;  Under Fire: Culture and Conflict in Afghanistan and Iraq; The Country House Revealed, and Warsaw: Resurrecting History. In London on February 16th, he descended on Ognisko Polskie’s…

Olenka Hamilton | 21/02/2016
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REMEMBERING BOSNIA: ‘Warriors’ (Kosminsky, 1999) reviewed by Jo Varney

Barely four years after the official end of the war in Bosnia, the BBC aired the two-part drama Warriors (1999), a fictionalised account of a British battalion sent to Bosnia from ’92-’93 (the height of the war there) under the auspices of UNPROFOR, the UN peacekeeping force. Written by Leigh Jackson and directed by Peter…

Jo Varney | 23/12/2015
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UKRAINIAN CINEMA DAYS: ‘The Trumpeter’ (Mateshko, 2014) reviewed by Valenka Navea

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I was fortunate enough to be at the Ukrainian Cinema Days press conference at the Ukrainian Embassy last week, excited to hear what the organisers had to say about the launch of their film festival programme showing at Rich Mix in East London. Igor Iankovsky, founder of Charity Foundation Initiative for the Future and main sponsor of…

Valenka Navea | 21/12/2015
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UKRAINIAN CINEMA DAYS: Ukrainian Shorts, reviewed by Julia Secklehner

Velosiped, Away and Once upon a Mine are three short films produced in 2015, shown this month at London’s Ukrainian Film Festival. They vary in length between just over two minutes (Velosiped) and half an hour (Once upon a Mine). While of course a film’s duration doesn’t  tell us anything about its quality, it’s interesting…

Julia Secklehner | 19/12/2015
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UKRAINIAN CINEMA DAYS: ‘The Guide’ (Sanin, 2014) reviewed by Ollie Buxton

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Ukraine’s past and present collide dramatically in Oles Sanin’s 2014 film The Guide (Povodyr’) where raw feelings of romantic nationalism stirred up by contemporary events bubble to the surface in the retelling of another dark period of the country’s history. In Sanin’s second feature-length production, today’s emotions are projected onto the 1930s, when  Moscow-imposed famine,…

Oliver Buxton | 19/12/2015