As political constraints tighten on free expression in Russia, divergent views are increasingly unwelcome on any platform. The years of President Vladimir Putin’s dominance have brought Kremlin control to virtually all media outlets and progressively to other cultural spaces and modes of expression, including social activism, scholarship, art, and theater. The result has been to populate the discourse with “approved’’ ideas and raise the stakes on dissent, which most recently accumulated in the ever-returning conversation of censoring and controlling the Internet even more.
PEN America works to aid and elevate Russian writers fighting limits on free discourse and open access to information, including but not limited to hosting independent novelists, poets, and journalists for public events and high-level briefings in the United States, building ties with U.S. literary, cultural, and human rights communities, and publishing a comprehensive report, Discourse in Danger: Attacks on Free Expression in Putin’s Russia.
September Featured Case: Kirill Serebrennikov
Kirill Serebrennikov, a prominent Russian theater director, prolific playwright, and champion of the arts was put under house arrest through October 19 on fraud charges that Serebrennikov has denied. More
Surviving Autocracy: Lessons from Russian Writers
“Russia,’’ “Putin,” “influence,’’ and “autocracy” are words that figured in the U.S. national discourse more during the weeks leading up to the presidential inauguration of Donald J. Trump than… More
The Closing of the Russian Mind?
From January 25–29, PEN America will host a delegation of prominent Russian writers and publishers who are braving the currents of authoritarianism under President Vladimir Putin to stand up… More
Relevant Research and Reports
Discourse in Danger: Attacks on Free Expression in Putin’s Russia
Discourse in Danger documents the Russian government's campaign to constrain free expression by limiting public access to information, closing avenues of civic engagement, populating discourse with approved ideas, and raising… More