Silence in the Soviet Union
12 9 2015
Silence in the Soviet Union

Svetlana Aleksievič with Gian Piero Piretto

Why do people remain silent? It seems like an obvious question, but if your life is at risk, it can take some time to come up with an answer. People remain quiet in order to survive - people fear being arrested because the risk of death is always lingering around the corner.

There was no freedom in the USSR, but nor was there anarchy. That is the theme of Svetlana Alexievič's stories, the Belarusian journalist who displays exceptional courage: the courage to ask questions when silence is no longer an option.

Alexievič's novels, according to Gian Piero Piretto, don't try to give answers but rather seek to provide tools to interpret reality, a complex reality that is made up of much more than the simple concepts of good and bad. One that is instead composed of different shades of colours that make up a picture with unclear borders because, according to the Russian proverb cited by the writer, "Russia is not only unpredictable in the future, but even in the past."

Memories and reminders, past and present all find space in the narratives that make up Svetlana Alexievič's novels, real social surveys that collect "small stories about small people" from a post-Soviet Russia that is still in search of its own complex identity.

Il sito è stato realizzato nell’ambito del progetto Open Festival con il contributo di
INNOVACULTURA - Regione Lombardia, Camere di Commercio Lombarde e Fondazione Cariplo