Rory Maclean - Pravda Ha Ha: True Travels to the End of Europe, The Arts Centre, Friday, 25. October 2019

An unsettling, poignant and darkly comic exposé of Putin’s Russia and European disintegration from the acclaimed author of "Stalin’s Nose”.
In 1989 the Berlin Wall fell. In that euphoric year Rory MacLean travelled from Berlin to Moscow, exploring the forgotten half of Europe. Thirty years on MacLean retraces his original “Stalin’s Nose” journey, travelling from revanchist Russia through Ukraine's bloodlands, to illiberal Hungary, Poland, Germany and the UK, across countries confronting old ghosts and new fears. Along the way he shoulders an AK 47 to go hunting with Moscow’s Chicken Tsar, plays video games with a St Petersburg cyber-hacker who cracked the US election, drops by the Che Guevara High School of Political Leadership and meets the Warsaw doctor who tried to stop a march of 70,000 nationalists.
As Europe sleepwalks into a perilous new age, MacLean explores how opportunists – from Putin to Home Counties populists – have made a joke of truth and examines the veracity of historical narrative from reportage to fiction to fake news. He asks what happened to the optimism of 1989 and, in the shadow of Brexit, chronicles the collapse of the European dream.

Friday, 25. October 2019, The Arts Centre, Rory Maclean - Pravda Ha Ha: True Travels to the End of Europe

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