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Christina Ezrahi

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Christina Ezrahi is an award winning historian of Soviet cultural politics and Russian ballet. Her first book, Swans of the Kremlin: Ballet and Power in Soviet Russia, was awarded the 2017 Best Dance Book published in France.

Christina studied International Relations at Princeton and Oxford University and worked for the United Nations in Moscow. She is a Fellow of The Royal Historical Society and is also a trained classical dancer.

Born in Munich, Christina now lives in Berlin.

Uncovering Soviet Crimes: Dancing for Stalin: A Dancer's Story of Courage and Survival in Soviet Russia

After reading a secret denunciation list, released to her in error, award-winning historian Christina Ezrahi decided to painstakingly piece together the extraordinary story of well-loved character dancer and choreographer Nina Anisimova. In 1938, at the height of Stalin’s Great Terror, Nina vanished. Only a handful of people knew that she had been arrested by the secret police, accused of being a Nazi spy and sentenced to forced labour in a camp in Kazakhstan. Trapped thousands of miles from home and surrounded by the horrors of the Karlag camp – without winter clothes in temperatures of minus 40 degrees – her art was her salvation, giving her a reason to fight for her life.

 

In this talk, Christina will share Nina’s story of suffering and injustice, of courage, resilience and – ultimately – triumph. Understanding Russia’s Soviet past and the mindset of the Soviet secret police is crucial for understanding Putin’s regime.

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