The darling of the Soviet Union, singer Vadim Kozin melted hearts by the tens of millions in the 1940s, playing to packed concert halls and rallying Red Army troops in World War II. Kozin made dozens of hit records and lived the high-life of a celebrity in the most rarefied circles around Stalin. But he vanished one day in 1944 when the secret police arrested him and sent him to the GULAG for homosexuality. His records were pulled from the shops, his voice from the radio. The public thought him dead, but Kozin would spend the next 50 years in Siberia, still singing and performing in the strange looking-glass world of internal exile.
Dan Healey and Monica Whitlock will explore the facets of Kozin’s extraordinary life that spanned the whole of the Soviet century. There will be plenty of Kozin’s music to enjoy. This is a Pushkin Club event and all are welcome.
Dan Healey is a historian of Russian homosexuality, gender, medicine, and the Gulag. He is the author of numerous books, articles and chapters on these themes, including the first full-length study of LGBT Russian history, Homosexual Desire in Revolutionary Russia: The Regulation of Sexual and Gender Dissent (Chicago, 2001) translated as Gomoseksual'noe vlechenie v revoliutsionnoi Rossii: Regulirovanie seksual'no-gendernogo dissidentstva (Moscow, 2008). He is Professor of Modern Russian History at Oxford University.
Monica Whitlock is a radio journalist specialising in Central Asia and the former USSR, music and oral history. Before going independent she had twenty years’ experience as a BBC producer and foreign correspondent. Last year she travelled to Moscow with the singer Marc Almond for the BBC World Service to make a documentary about Vadim Kozin, to be broadcast on 20 December 2015.