2009 Russia

The word beyond borders

Babel’s 4th edition hosts a language that pronounced several key moments in the XX Century, Russian.
Twenty years after the opening of the Berlin wall, Russia is experiencing a moment of intense transition and violent contradictions. In order to translate itself into its own present, Russia is confronting its past, the distant past of the orthodox tradition and the tsars, and the recent one of the Soviet Union, as well as the current westernisation, divided between old bureaucracy and nationalistic fervour, capitalism and spirituality.
In moments such as this the writer searches for a language capable of expressing the new, aided by the syntax of things past, just like Tarkovsky’s stalker throwing bolts into the unknown, sketching the way.
The writers guests of Babel, different generations, living in different countries, are among the most significant voices of contemporary Russia: Andrei Makine, Ruben Gallego, Ludmila Ulitskaya, Mikhail Shishkin, Anna Starobinec, Michail Aizenberg, Elena Bochorishvili. The festival ends with two glances at Russia from Western Europe, with Serena Vitale, and from the Siberian Urka tribe, with Nicolai Lilin.

Beyond the word’s borders

In this 4th edition a string quartet will take us Beyond the word’s boundaries: amongst the most acclaimed performers of Russian music, who have also worked with Björk and Elvis Costello, the Brodsky Quartet proposes a special program just for Babel, choosing compositions that elaborate on Russian folk themes, and composers that have been exiled and censored. As every year, expanding Babel beyond the three days, the Circolo del cinema proposes the series cineBabel. And, from this year, we will literally step Beyond the word’s boundaries: Babel has commissioned a large artwork by artist Kerim Seiler, the tent Barnum Effect, a meeting point which will host barBabel and bookshop.