Founded in 2004, The Birch is the first national undergraduate publication devoted exclusively to Slavic, East European, and Eurasian cultures. Any undergraduate student at any college can submit work. We accept creative writing (poetry, prose, creative nonfiction, short stories), literary criticism (essays and book reviews), and essays on the culture and politics of the region. Visit our website to see past issues: http://thebirchonline.org/.
The Birch's annual publication is currently in production!
The magazine will be released later this spring, containing a collection of literary criticism, politics, creative writing and translations, all submitted from undergraduate students across the country, and all relating to things Eastern European.
As a small preview of the upcoming journal, here’s an article submitted from Eliza Desind, a senior at Rutgers University. Her piece, entitled “Friends and Allies?”, examines the friendship and subsequent enmity between Ivan Ivanovich and Ivan Nikiforovich in Gogol’s short story on the pair. She explores the Ivans’ relationship in conjunction to the nineteenth-century political tensions of Russia and Ukraine.
In the Lindsay Rogers Room (707 International Affairs Building) on Wednesday, December 5th from 5pm-8pm, a panel of seven speakers will discuss the recent elections in Georgia, Ukraine, Belarus, and Lithuania. The event will be broken into two parts: at 5pm speakers will analyze the elections; at 6:30 election monitors from the two countries will deliver eye-witness reports of their experiences. More information.
Polish-Hungarian pianist Piotr Anderszewski will be performing at 8 pm on Thursday, December 6th at Carnegie Hall. Click here for more information about the musician and ticket information.
On Sunday, October 10/21, the Ukrainian Museum launched Ron Kostyniuk: Art as Nature Analogue, a sculpture exhibit devoted to Ukrainian-Canadian artist Ron Kostyniuk. The exhibit will be on display until January. More information can be found at The Ukrainian Museum’s website.
On Tuesday, October 23, the Slavic and East European Film Series will be screening Repentance, the prize-winning film by Georgian director Tengiz Abuladze. The film will be shown with English subtitles. A clip of the film can be found here.
Unfortunately, the Moscow Chamber Orchestra’s concert for this Wednesday at Carnegie Hall was cancelled. However, on Thursday, October 25, cellist Misha Quint, violist Andrzej Grabiec, and pianist Svetlana Gorokhovich — all Slavic-born musicians — will be performing several chamber works at Carnegie Hall. More information on the concert can be found here.
The Russian band Mumiy Troll will be playing at the Gramercy Theatre this Thursday, October 25. Information on the show, and a clip of the group’s music, can be on the Theatre’s website.
Previews begin this Thursday, October 25, for Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike at Lincoln Center. The play, by Christopher Durang, borrows several characters from Chekhov and transports them to rural Pennsylvania. The Lincoln Center’s website has more information.
Last, but certainty not least, Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812 is running at the Ars Nova Theatre until November 10th. The play is an electro-pop opera adaptation of Tolstoy’s War and Peace. And every audience members receives a free glass of vodka and warm pierogies. Need I say more? Information can be found at Ars Nova’s website.
The Slavic and East European Film Series at Columbia will be screening Tulpan (trailer available here) a film by Kazakhstani director Sergei Dvortsevoy which debuted in 2008. The film will be shown on Tuesday, October 9th7:30 pm in 709 Hamilton Hall.
Frank E. Sysyn will be delivering a talk titled “Scholarship in Service to the People: Father Mykhailo Zubryts’kyi (1856-1919) and the Study of the Galician Ukrainian Village at noon Wednesday, October 10th in room 1219 of the Internation Affairs Building.
On Thursday, October 11th, from 4pm - 6pm, in Faculty House, Garden Room 1 a panel will give a talk titled “Not Talking About A Revolution: The Internet in Post-Soviet Authoritarian States,” discussing whether the digital tools which enabled the Arab Spring will give rise to similar uprisings in the former Soviet states.
For the launch party of Anthology of Modern Ukrainian Drama, Larissa Kukrytska, Larissa Lavrinenko, and Marko Stech will be reading selections. The event will take place on Saturday, October 13th, 5pm, at Shevchenko Scientific Society.
The Museum of the Moving Image will be screening a new, digitally restored print of Andrzej Wajda’s film, Ashes and Diamonds (clip available here) on both Saturday and Sunday, October 13th and 14th, at 2pm.
First and foremost, The Birch is proud to announce that Dmitry Kuzmin will be doing a free poetry reading and discussion of the current state of LBTQ rights in Russia followed by a Q+A session this Thursday, October 4th in room 403 of the International Affairs Building at Columbia University from 8pm until 10pm. If you have any questions about the event, do not hesitate to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Russian poet Bakhyt Kenjeev will be reading at The Museum of Russian Art on Wednesday, October 3rd at 7pm. Topics to be discussed include “Poetry and the Internet and “Poetry Amateur and Professional.”
This Friday, October 5th from 12-5pmthere will be a symposium in The Celeste Bartos Theater to explore the career of 20th century experimental Polish artist, Alina Szapocznikow. In conjunction, a retrospective of Szapocznikow’s work will be opening at MoMA this Sunday, October 7th.
As Californians celebrate yesterday’s court ruling that Proposition 8 violates constitutional rights, the fledgling LGBT rights movement in Russia remains stymied by a ban on gay rights protests (let alone pride parades), as well as by the recent outlawing of any “propaganda of homosexuality” (rainbow flags, posters, etc.) by the two city governments of Arkhangelsk and Ryazan. (NYT)
Just last month, Nikolai Alekseev and a fellow gay rights protester were arrested for anti-discrimination picketing in front of an Arkhangelsk children’s library. (GayRussia News)
The video above features the very sexy, all-male Ukrainian dance group Kazaky, who became internet celebrities after “In the Middle” (above) went viral on Youtube. It’s amazing that such an explicit confrontation of gender roles came from Ukraine, which, albeit not as hostile as Russia, doesn’t have the greatest track record in terms of LGBT rights.
Street protest in Kiev outside the Budynok Uryado, the building which houses the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. Protestors were seen bearing banners of various political organizations and home-made cardboard picket signs with slogans such as “The hunger strike has ended but the problems remain” (referring to a hunger strike in Donetsk a month earlier in response to the government’s closing of a school), and “No legal Chernobyl after nuclear Chernobyl” (whatever that means). Filmed March 2011.