Last year, Cambridge University Libraries started providing access to the Klassiki database of films from Eastern Europe, Russia, the Caucasus, and Central Asia. The subscription was started specifically to support courses taught under the auspices of Film Studies and/or Slavonic Studies. In its own words: “Klassiki hosts a highly curated permanent collection of films that represent the best of classic filmmaking from the region. We also offer a brand new ‘Pick of the Week’ contemporary title, selected by the curatorial team. Each of our films are accompanied by programme notes, journal essays, newly commissioned subtitles and online interviews with the best filmmakers from the region.”
In terms of Ukraine, the Klassiki database currently has 6 films in its Ukraine section. It did have a 7th – the documentary film Mariupolis (2016) directed by Mantas Kvedaravičius. As readers will probably already know, that film was about the experience of Mariupolʹ under fire from Russian-backed separatists, and its director was tragically murdered there this year in March, a victim of the 2022 full-scale war. He had been in the city to make a sequel. The 2016 film is no longer on Klassiki, since ARTE.tv have been able to license it to make it fully and freely available on YouTube here. Kvedaravičius’ 2013 Cambridge PhD thesis, Knots of absence : death, dreams, and disappearances at the limits of law in the counter-terrorism zone of Chechnya, is at the Haddon Library and in the Library Storage Facility, and here is his home department’s tribute to him.
The Ukrainian films on Klassiki were made in Ukraine and chiefly by Ukrainian directors, with one in Ukrainian (and Hutsul), two silent, and three in Russian. They include two films by Kira Muratova, two by Oleksandr Dovz︠h︡enko, one by Serhiĭ Paradz︠h︡anov (Sergei Parajanov here), and one by Marlen Khut︠s︡iev (who Cambridge was fortunate enough to host in a 2014 visit). The films’ descriptions from Klassiki follow. Continue reading
The first stanza of Bykov’s poem.
Subscribers to this blog will have seen a reblog earlier in the week from the CUL Electronic Collections Management site announcing access to the Russian-language newspaper Novaia Gazeta.
The Russian war against Ukraine was not only the focus of the paper in its final weeks in Russia before it closed but of course also the reason for its closure, as Russian governmental pressure relating to the so-called “special military operation” made it impossible for the newspaper to perform its duties properly.
The paper appears three times in our A-Z databases list (all three here) because East View, the platform via which we have access, provides the years 1994-2021 as a single digital archive, while providing access to the first few months of 2022 as another, and the new Europe edition as a third. The Europe edition started in Riga in early May, while the last Russian edition appeared in late March, a few days before the atrocities committed in Bucha were revealed. The latest horrors, including the torture of a Ukrainian POW, are now covered in the most recent Europe issue (but note that an ’18+’ tag is applied to articles with distressing images – take the warning seriously). Continue reading
As thoughts turn to summer holidays, and foreign travel is still not a straightforward prospect for many, it is time to reprise the idea of the armchair traveller’s virtual tour, this time exploring some UNESCO World Heritage sites through our resources, mostly online ones. The World Heritage Program has been operating since the 1970s and the list of sites now numbers more than one thousand. This list will shortly be added to as the 44th session of the UNESCO World Heritage committee will take place during the next two weeks, an extended meeting (as they were not able to meet in 2020) at which delegates will consider the new nominations. They will also vote on whether the city of Liverpool should lose its World Heritage status, granted in 2004 and under threat because of recent waterfront developments regarded as detrimental. Previously, only one other European site was delisted, the Dresden Elbe valley in 2009 because of concerns about the construction of the Waldschlösschen Bridge. Continue reading
The University of Cambridge has trial access to Digitalia Catalan until the 17th of May 2021. The platform can be accessed from the following link: https://catalan.digitaliapublishing.com