Kyiv-born British documentary film-maker, TV-producer and now a writer, Petr Pomerantzev has been busy with presenting his new book to various audiences in London. “Nothing is True and Everything is Possible. Adventures in Modern Russia” became a book of the week on BBC radio 4 (listen to the podcast here). Expert in Russian media, he is now also involved with Legatum Institute, researches and presents at various events, including those related to Ukraine.
Dash Arts Cafe with Josephine Burton and Nick Cohen, 4-02-2015
In conversation with Dash Arts Co-Artistic Director Josephine Burton and journalist Nick Cohen, Petr presented main characters, their life environment and read few paragraphs from his book. East Londoners, Dash Cafes regulars and representatives of the Russian and Ukrainian communities filled the main space of Rich Mix. Petr presented his story in a relaxed manner, but was very sharp in his conclusions.
Here are just some of them:
”Putin acts like a gangster, stealing quotes from the God Father“
”TVocracy – new type of autoritian regime based on TV, which is not securing oil, bureaucracy, but holding onto TV“
”Underline of Russian propaganda: everything is illusion, everything’s a lie, everyone’s corrupt – don’t do anything”
”Soviet propaganda was about utopia. Russian propaganda is demoralising, dividing and conquering“
”RT has only one viewer to convince. And that is Putin”
Nick Cohen added that he couldn’t think of any historical parallel to modern Russian propaganda. Not even the one in Soviet Union.
Book reading at UCL, 9-02-2015
The audience consisted of students and professors, studying or teaching Russia and Ukraine related subjects. The room was absolutely full. Those who came late had to stand at the doors, but it was absolutely worth it.
Petr was sharp and funny, even when speaking of the most serious and tragic things like spread of delusional Russian propaganda, overwhelming corruption and ‘engeneered for TV’ war with Ukraine.
Some of his quotes from this evening:
”Russians is a society of imitators. After years of lies about communism, there are now lies about democracy…”
”Russian propaganda is confusing, undermining and demoralising. Conspiracy and mysticism – main food that TV gives to masses, that makes them passive, paranoid and apathetic. People at the top of the TV sphere think of themselves as shamans who can do absolutely anything. It was originally believed that they could ‘do the Donbas’ just with TV. But it didn’t work.”
”Putin got huge support due to the war engineered for TV.”
”Many of the modern conflicts are not about weapons, but about who can lie better and more skilfully, since all that matters is rating.”
More on Ukraine
Next time Petr will present his book at Legatum Institute on Wednesday 11 February 2015. See more information here.
Please also check Petr’s review of Maidan related films, theatre plays and books posted at London Review of Books website.