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Pushkin House Offsite with Dash Arts: Discussion at Rich Mix: Russia on Stage

Cultural Diplomacy, Soft Power, Live Music

Pushkin House goes offsite and joins forces with Dash Arts to present a discussion at Rich Mix on Russian Culture on the international stage.

Ahead of 2014's much-trumpeted UK/Russia Year of Culture, music impresario Olga Balakleets, journalist Peter Pomerantsev and London-based Russian artist Alexei Blinov, discuss presenting Russia abroad. The event is chaired by Dash Arts' artistic director Josephine Burton. Followed by a live set from London-based troubadour Sasha Ilyukevich and his British band The Highly Skilled Migrants , creating'an incomparable brew of post punk electric energy and folk lyricism'.

*Please note this event will take place at Rich Mix London

Olga Balakleets

Born in the south of Russia and trained from an early age as a professional pianist, Olga has studied at the prestigious St. Petersburg Conservatory and later as a postgraduate at the Royal College of Music, performing as a soloist with many world famous orchestras, including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, and Belorussian State Orchestra. She founded Ensemble Productions in 1998, producing events including Russian Festival Maslenitsa on Trafalgar Square 2011-2013 and a series of ballet galas - Russian Ballet Icons Galas (2006 - 2013) at the Royal Opera House.

Olga acts as an adviser on cultural matters to various governments and Ministries of Culture and works closely with the Mayor of London, British Parliament, Russian State Duma and Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation. Olga has been an Artistic Director of the British-Russian Cultural Association, and is now the Head of the Culture and Governmental Communications Session of the Russian Speaking Council in the UK. For her services to Russia she has been given a number of prestigious awards including a Special Medal from President Medvedev (September 2010) and an Order "For Services to the Fatherland" of Prince Dmitry Donskoi and St. Sergey Radonezhsky (December 2010). In October 2013 she was awarded by the Russian Union of Merchants and Industrialists an Order “For the Glory of Motherland”.

Alexei Blinov

Alexei Blinov was born 1964 in Russia and is a London-based electronic engineer and new media artist. He was trained as a doctor before moving to the UK. In the early 1990s he specialised in large scale high quality laser projections. Since the late 1990s he has produced a wide variety of interactive audio-visual installations. Over the past few years, he has been the creative force behind many interactive audio-visual art projects in the UK. As founder of experimental new media organisation "Raylab" he has collaborated with a number of creative artists including Jamie Reid. Since 1997 Alexei has worked mainly in the UK creating interactive audio-visual installations at a number of important art galleries including the ICA and the Barbican Art Centre, London.

Peter Pomerantsev

Peter Pomerantsev is a British author and documentary producer. His writing on Russia features regularly in the London Review of Books, Newsweek/Daily Beast, openDemocracy, Le Monde Diplomatique and other European and US publications. He has also worked as a consultant on EU and World Bank development projects in the former USSR. He is the winner of the SOPA (Society of Press in Asia) award for writing about Mongolia and was a fellow of the 'Russia in Global Dialogue' programme at the Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen (IWM) in Vienna. His first book on society and politics in 21st Century Russia will be published by Faber in 2013.

Sasha and the Highly Skilled Migrants

London-based Belarusian troubadour Sasha Ilyukevich and his British band ‘The Highly Skilled Migrants’ create an incomparable brew of post punk electric energy and folk lyricism. This is one of those rare bands, which transcends their inspirations to create powerful and original music of its own, ‘Belarusian Rock ’n’ Roll’. Ilyukevich sings in Russian, his lyrics play on images from Eastern Slavic Folklore and Russian Literature, the characters of his songs, brimming with satirical and provocative mischief. His vocals swoop from soft whispered melodies to raucous screams, defying language barriers to deliver songs that are uplifting, intelligent, macabre, romantic and melancholic.

* Please note this event will take placeat Rich Mix .

* Entry to the Dash Cafe is free, but please reserve your seat on

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