Spotlight on Stalin: The Divided Legacy of the “Man of Steel” with Vladimir Ivanov

Spotlight on Stalin: The Divided Legacy of the “Man of Steel” with Vladimir Ivanov


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Josef Stalin is viewed in the West as a bloody tyrant and mass murderer, yet he remains an extremely popular historic figure in today's Russia. Why? Before making a conclusion, this conversation will explore the life, career, and legacy of Josef Stalin. We’ll discuss his early career in the Bolshevik party, his fight against Trotsky after Lenin's death as well as the economic growth and political purges of the 1930s in the USSR. We’ll look at Stalin's role in World War II and the creation of the post-war world order. This is a fascinating seminar for anyone with an interest in biographies and Russian history.

Among political titans of the twentieth century, Joseph Stalin (1879-1853) has the most intriguing biography. Born in a peasants' family in the remote outskirts of the Russian Empire, he was educated as an Orthodox priest but became a professional revolutionary. Winning a severe struggle for the party leadership after Lenin's death, Stalin led the USSR in the harsh times of industrialization and WWII. As Winston Churchill presumably remarked, it was Stalin who “inherited Russia with a wooden plow, but left it in possession of atomic weapons”.

Was Stalin in favor of dividing Germany into two parts? What is the exact figure of his victims? Was he behind a deadly famine in the south of Russia? It is these questions and more, that we will seek to find answers for over the duration of this seminar, as we unpack just who Josef Stalin really was.

Led by St Petersburg-based author and researcher of the Soviet arts, this interactive seminar aims at providing a historic background of Stalin: his biography, heritage, and myths about him. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased knowledge of the most controversial leader of Russia.

Holding an MA in Classics, Vladimir is an author of a book called “Inspired by outer space: images of the future in late Soviet architecture” and a key contributor to TASCHEN's edition "CCCP: Cosmic Communist Constructions Photographed". Vladimir has written articles on contemporary art for local media, done podcasts on photography and the Russian revolution. He has also curated a number of exhibitions, including "The Cradle of the Faith: Christian Presence in the Middle East" in New Michael Palace and "Lingua Sacra" in the Imperial Public Library. Currently, he is doing architectural walks in St Petersburg and shares his vast knowledge of arts through the tours of the Hermitage and Russian museums.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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