New East Digital Archive

Welcome to a special project on The Calvert Journal exploring the cultural history and legacy of the Russian Revolution in its centenary year

This year marks the centenary of the 1917 Revolutions in what was then the Russian Empire. What lessons can we learn from these hundred-year-old events? How should they be commemorated? And how did the culture revolutions that accompanied the political alter how we see the world?

The Future Remains: Revisiting Revolution is a year-long season of events and exhibitions from Calvert 22 Foundation addressing the legacy of 1917.

How did the culture revolutions that accompanied the political alter how we see the world?

In a year of looking back at the historic impact of those events, The Future Remains’ interdisciplinary approach means not only exploring how historians, economists, writers and artists view the events of 1917, but also thinking critically about the way its legacy reflects on contemporary culture.

Alongside a varied showcase of book launches, film screenings, readings and other one-off events providing a platform for the most interesting current approaches to 1917, a series of talks and debates with leading specialists within their field is addressing the revolution through a number of important aspects: history, the economy, sex, the media, the city and fashion. These debates seek to bring together scholars from eastern Europe, Russia and beyond in conversation with their counterparts in the UK.

This project for The Calvert Journal takes up the themes and delves into the cultural reality and legacy of the revolution. Here, we are publishing pieces from contributors to our live events alongside original material by a range of writers that demonstrates how comprehensively the revolution changed the world for cultural figures. From the invention of documentary film to contemporary controversies around memorialisation; from children’s drawings to grand monuments; from the vast territories of Central Asia to Lenin’s final resting place on Red Square – here you can immerse yourself in the past, present and future of 1917.

The Future Remains: Revisiting Revolution will conclude with Dmitry Prigov: Theatre of Revolutionary Action, the first major UK presentation of the Moscow Conceptualist artist, poet and performer Dmitry Prigov (1940-2007). Running from 12 October to 17 December, the exhibition will be centred around the realisation of one of his sketches for installation, and features video works, concrete poetry, sculptures and works on paper. Focusing on his work from the Nineties, the exhibition will explore how the myths of the Soviet legacy reverberated at the close of its existence, when a new revolutionary turn had swept away the remnants of October.

Text: Elizaveta Butakova-Grimshaw

The Future Remains: Revisiting Revolution runs until December 2017 at the Calvert 22 Foundation