5 x 15m
BBC Radio 4
Leading cultural figures on the ‘front line’ of Russia’s border with Europe present a series of illustrated essays on the reality of their nation’s contemporary national identity.
Lithuanian spoken word artist Žygimantas Kudirka considers the strange and sobering history of his home nation, where surreal is beautiful.
Novelist Emmi Itaranta considers the Finns’ reputation as a silent, deadly Resistance, historical connections between her home city of Tampere and Manchester, and the quandary of “resting Finn face”.
Arts critic Paula Erizanu unravels her tangled double identity as both Moldovan and Romanian, and considers how her nation has been shaped by the scars of its post-Soviet identity and frozen conflict in Transnistria.
Literary director and author of the acclaimed novel Soviet Milk, Nora Ikstena explores the ideas, politics and stereotypes that link the modern nations of Latvia and Ukraine – and their shared (and complicated) experience of Russian colonisation.
Former Estonian President (2006-2016) Toomas Hendrik considers his nation’s post-Soviet rebirth as a world-leading digital society, a cradle of e-commerce, telecommunications and digital democracy.
Producer: John Beauchamp
A Free Range and Overcoat Media production for BBC Radio 4