Belarus Free Theatre Announces The Next Kitchen Revolution Supper Club
On Wednesday 28 February, Belarus Free Theatre will host the next Kitchen Revolution supper club, featuring provocateurs Peter Pomerantsev and Oliver Bullough.Kitchen Revolution is a series of evenings that combine supper and secrecy, all served with a dash of sedition. The theme of this evening is 'Money, Lies and Videotape: How the kleptocrats of the former USSR bend truth and steal - and how we make it all possible'. Guests will enjoy a feast of home-cooked Soviet food and wine served in a private house, including borscht -"the common denominator of the Soviet kitchen, the dish that tied together ... the high table of the Kremlin and the meanest canteen in the boondocks of the Urals, ... the beetroot soup that pumped like a main artery through the kitchens of the east Slav lands", according to the writer James Meek. Peter Pomerantsev is an author, TV producer and Visiting Senior Fellow at the London School of Economics. He writes for several publications including the Financial Times, the London Review of Books and The Atlantic. His book on Russian propaganda, Nothing is True and Everything is Possible, won the 2016 Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize, and was nominated for the Samuel Johnson Prize and the Guardian First Book Award. It has been translated into over a dozen languages. Oliver Bullough is an author and journalist who specialises in financial crime and the ex-Soviet Union. He writes regularly for the Guardian, the New York Times, GQ magazine and elsewhere, and his next book, Moneyland, the secret country of the super rich, will be published later this year. Oliver Bullough said: "London's role in laundering the world's dirty money is the skeleton in Britain's cupboard, something we all know about but we don't like to mention. I've spent hours discussing corruption around Russian kitchen tables, and I'm really looking forward to sitting around a table here in Britain to talk about our own role in enabling that corruption. There will be lots to say." In the dark days of the Soviet Union, dissidents and intellectuals would gather in each other's homes to talk, argue and dream about one thing - freedom. These whispered conversations, which would have been deemed treasonous if held in public, ultimately coalesced into actions that helped overthrow the repressive Soviet system. This was nicknamed the 'kitchen revolution'. Decades later and a world away, Britain's hard-won freedoms are being eroded, as too many of us sink into political apathy, and a stultifying conservatism envelops the creative arts. It's time for a new and more public kitchen revolution, time to turn up the volume on the kitchen table whispers of the past, and to encourage everyone to consider how artists should respond when democracy comes under threat. Natalia Kaliada said: "I spent my childhood under the Soviet regime, and I still remember my parents' kitchen reverberating with the fierce whispers of dissent. Even when everything is suppressed, it is very difficult to crush that human desire to keep talking, to keep challenging lies, defending truth, and hoping for change. With Kitchen Revolution, we want to remind people how precious and important the freedom to speak really is, and to look at how we might start translating words into real action." Belarus Free Theatre is one of the foremost refugee-led theatre companies in the UK and the only theatre in Europe banned by its government on political grounds. In April last year, the company was forced to postpone the premiere of a new show in Minsk, after several of its members were arrested or injured during crackdowns on democratic protests against Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko.