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The spoken word has always held a special place in the hearts of Russians. From Alexander Pushkin’s revolutionary writings, which inspired generations of Russian playwrights and librettists, to poetry recitations by Evgeny Evtushenko, to Russian bards like Vladimir Vysotsky, Russians love oral literary forms. This vibrant tradition lives today in the genre of Russian rap. Artists such as Husky, Noize MC, Oxxxymiron, Timati, and Vasya Oblomov are skilled wordsmiths who advance not just the literary form of poetry, but also political and cultural messages. In this talk I explore this genre from its beginnings to contemporary forms, and I discuss issues of censorship in the current oppressive Russian political climate in which an artist’s career can hinge on taking a friendly or antagonistic stance toward government.
This event will be held online via Youtube Livestream