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Project for the Study of Dissidence and Samizdat

By Ann Komaromi

The Electronic Archive “Project for the Study of Dissidence and Samizdat” (PSDS) includes the database of Soviet samizdat periodicals, electronic editions of selected samizdat journals, illustrated timelines of dissident movements, and interviews with activists. The Project aims to make rare materials more widely available and to provoke questions about the trajectories of groups and individuals within the varied field of Soviet dissidence and nonconformist culture.

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Samizdat Journals - Electronic Editions

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АРХИВ [Archive]
The thematic collection АРХИВ (ARCHIVE), No. 1 (1976) – No. 5 (1978), Leningrad, was edited by Marina Nedrobova and Vadim Nechaev. The issues feature articles on unofficial art with photographs. Copies presented here come from the Genrikh Sapgir Collection (F. 146) at the Research Centre for East European Studies, Bremen University.
БУДУЩЕЛЪ [FUTURELING]
БУДУЩЕЛЪ (FUTURELING), a journal of the so-called “Society for Vladimir Khlebnikov,” was begun by Sergei Sigei (Sigov) in Leningrad in 1970. It did not last through a second issue. Sigov is better known for his work on the journal ТРАНСПОНАНС (TRANSPONANS). The copy presented here comes from the Sigov/Tarshis Collection (F. 97) at the Research Centre for East European Studies, Bremen University.
БУМЕРАНГ [Boomerang]
БУМЕРАНГ (BUMERANG), No. 1 (1960), Moscow, subtitled “A literary-artistic and cultural-educational monthly,” was an early samizdat journal from the group gathered around the Maiakovsky monument. Edited by Vladimir Osipov, the first issue included a rare article on painting by nonconformist artist Vasily Sitnikov. No succeeding issues have been found. The copy presented here comes from the N.V. Kotrelev Collection (F. 100) at the Research Centre for East European Studies at Bremen University.
ВЕСТНИК ТЭИИ [Herald of the AEFA]
ВЕСТНИК ТЭИИ (HERALD OF THE AEFA), No. 1 (1984), Leningrad, was compiled by Sergei Kovalsky to distribute news about the Association for Experimental Fine Arts (Товарищество экспериментального изобразительного искусство) created by Kovalsky, Yuri Novikov and others in 1981 as an unofficial council for Leningrad nonconformist artists. One other issue from 1986 has been recorded, but the total number of issues has not been confirmed. This copy of the first issue comes from the Sigov/Tarshis Collection (F. 97) at the Research Centre for East European Studies at Bremen University.
ДИАЛОГ [Dialogue]
ДИАЛОГ (DIALOGUE) No. 1 (1980) – No. 3 (1981), Leningrad, was a journal that emerged out of the correspondence of its editors Kirill Butyrin and Sergei Stratanovsky. The journal treated problems of liberalism and democracy, religion, nationalism and culture. Issue No. 2 features the participation of Tatiana Goricheva, known for her leading role in the journal ТРИДЦАТЬ СЕМЬ (THIRTY-SEVEN) and the feminist collection ЖЕНЩИНА И РОССИЯ (WOMAN AND RUSSIA). This short-lived edition led to the more developed journal ОБВОДНЫЙ КАНАЛ (OBVODNYI CANAL). This copy of issue No. 2 comes from the Kirill Butyrin Collection (F. 5/1.1) at the Research Centre for East European Studies at Bremen University.
ЖУРНАЛ МОД [Fashion Journal]
ЖУРНАЛ МОД (FASHION JOURNAL), appears to be one of the many journal projects undertaken by Sergei Sigei (Sigov) and Ry Nikonova (Tarshis), later involved with the samizdat journal ТРАНСПОНАНС (TRANSPONANS). This issue appears to have been compiled over the course of a couple of years. The couple moved to Leningrad in 1974, and it appears that around that time they ceased working on this journal. The copy of No. 1 (1972-1974) comes from the Sigov/Tarshis Collection (F. 97) at the Research Centre for East European Studies at Bremen University.
Журнал теории и практики "Транспонанс": Комментированное электронное издание / Под ред. И. Кукуя. - A Work in Progress
See the Foreword "Предисловие" for an introduction to the journal and to the project for this edition of the journal by Ilja Kukuj. ТРАНСПОНАНС (TRANSPONANS), a journal of theory and practice, No. 1 (1979) – No. 36 (1987), Eisk and Leningrad, was an outstanding neo-futurist project edited by Sergei Sigei (Sigov) and Ry Nikonova (Anna Tarshis). Users can find almost the full run of ТРАНСПОНАНС here, except for No. 15. Full transcriptions have been prepared and are available in sidebar menus beside each issue. Ilja Kukuj is preparing scholarly commentary for the edition. Users can consult commentary in the sidebar menu for issue No. 1. The Electronic Archive contains related editions, including БУДУЩЕЛЪ (FUTURELING), ЛИСТОК (LEAFLET), НОМЕР (NUMBER), ЖУРНАЛ МОД (FASHION JOURNAL). Most copies presented here come from the Vladimir Erl’ Collection (F. 37), although a number of late issues come from the MANI Collection (F. 66) at the Research Centre for East European Studies at Bremen University.
ИСКУССТВО КОММУНЫ [Art of the Commune]
The journal ИСКУССТВО КОММУНЫ (ART OF THE COMMUNE), No. 20 (1962) - No. 33 (1963), Moscow, took its name from the Futurist journal of the same name published in Petrograd, 1918-1919. There were 19 issues of that journal, and therefore the samizdat journal ИСКУССТВО КОММУНЫ of 1962 began with No. 20. Editors Vladimir Petrov and Yuri Freidin populated the issues with theoretical statements, literary and cultural criticism and social analysis. Issues were presented and discussed at Saturday evening gatherings attended by various guests. Vladimir Petrov later helped start the samizdat journal МЕТКИ (SIGNS OF NEW PAINTING). The copies of issues presented here come from the collection of V. M. Petrov, V. S. Gribkov and L. A. Melamid (F. 76) at the Research Centre for East European Studies at Bremen University.
ЛИСТОК [Leaflet]
The “weekly irregular newspaper” ЛИСТОК (LEAFLET) (ca. 1978-79), was produced by Sergei Sigei (Sigov), later involved in the journal ТРАНСПОНАНС (TRANSPONANS). The copies here precede the acquisition by Sergei Sigei (Sigov) of a typewriter. Subsequent issues were typed. Copies are from the Sigov/Tarshis Collection (F. 97) at the Research Centre for East European Studies at Bremen University.
ЛИТЕРАТУРНЫЙ АЛЬМАНАХ [Literary Almanac]
The thematic collection ЛИТЕРАТУРНЫЙ АЛЬМАНАХ (LITERARY ALMANAC), No. 1 (1961), Moscow, appears to have been a creation of young Muscovites gathered around Vladimir Muravev. It included poetry and prose. This copy of the first (and apparently only) issue was found in the collection of N. V. Kotrelev (F. 100) at the Research Centre for East European Studies at Bremen University.
ЛОБ [Forehead]
The five issues of ЛОБ (Forehead), No. 1, 2-3, 4, 5, 6 (1972), were produced by a group of students from the Chemistry Department at Leningrad State University, under the leadership of Sergei Dediulin and Vitaly Petranovsky. The title ЛОБ was an abbreviation from Ленинградское общесто библиофилов (Leningrad Society of Bibliophiles): the materials were literary and literary-historical. The journal of АМЕГОБ (SNAIMEHOB) preceded this one. Dediulin later went on to work with the more serious samizdat journals СЕВЕРНАЯ ПОЧТА (THE NORTHERN MAIL) and ПАМЯТЬ (MEMORY). Copies of the first four issues of ЛОБ presented here come from the collection of Sergei Dediulin (F. 68/1) at the Research Centre for East European Studies at Bremen University.
МЕТКИ [Signs]
The journal МЕТКИ (SIGNS OF NEW PAINTING), No. 1 (1975) - No. 12 (1980), Moscow, was initiated by Vitaly Gribkov together with Vladimir Petrov in 1975. The journal provided a forum for the editors and their friends to share their thoughts and explorations on the boundary between objective and abstract painting. The folios 400x300 mm making up journal issues contained texts and works of various sizes and media. Petrov worked on ИСКУССТВО КОММУНЫ (ART OF THE COMMUNE), in the early 1960s. The copies of issues presented here come from the collection of V. M. Petrov, V. S. Gribkov and L. A. Melamid (F. 76) at the Research Centre for East European Studies at Bremen University.
НЛО [UFO]
The thematic collection НЛО = Наша личная ответственность (UFO = Our Personal Responsibility), No. 1-2, 1982-83, was produced by the group around Kari Unksova in Leningrad. The group was interested in spiritual and philosophical issues, including the teachings of Jiddu Krishnamurti. Issue No. 1 features remarkable hand-drawn text, photographic and other visual works along with poetry. The edition came to a halt with the untimely death of Unksova in a car accident. This copy of issue No. 1 (1982) comes from the collection of samizdat periodicals gathered from various sources (F. 5/1.7) at the Research Centre for East European Studies at Bremen University.
НОМЕР [Number]
НОМЕР (NUMBER), 1965-1974, was a journal in one copy of the “Uktuss” School around Sergei Sigei (Sigov) and Ry Nikonova (Anna Tarshis). The journal acted as a laboratory for the neo-avant-garde work of the group, which used ready-made texts and produced experimental poetry. This was an “open” journal that featured sections in which readers were invited to “Write Your Own Contribution.” The group went on to do the samizdat journal ТРАНСПОНАНС (TRANSPONANS). After Nikonova and Sigei moved to Eisk, many of the issues were confiscated by the KGB. Issues here come mainly from the period of 1970-1972. Copies are housed in the Sigov/Tarshis Collection (F.97) at the Research Centre for East European Studies at Bremen University.
ОБВОДНЫЙ КАНАЛ [Obvodnyi Canal]
Kirill Butyrin, Sergei Stratanovsky and Boris Rokhlin began the journal ОБВОДНЫЙ КАНАЛ (OBVODNYI CANAL), No. 1 (1981) – 19 (1993), Leningrad, although Rokhlin departed early from the editorial collective, and Stratanovsky, who edited the poetry section, did not stay after issue No. 11 (1987). The journal continued the samizdat journal ДИАЛОГ (DIALOGUE). This journal for poetry, philosophy, literary criticism and more took its name from one bleak stretch of urban canal in Leningrad. Its title suggested something like a bypass valve for forces that found no outlet in official venues and inadequate venues in unofficial culture: Butyrin described the goal of the journal as supporting a plurality of views – including his own national Slavophile views – in unofficial culture. Copies of issues No. 1-10 come from the K. M. Butyrin Collection (F. 5/1.1) at the Research Centre for East European Studies at Bremen University.
ОПТИМА [Optima]
The name of the journal ОПТИМА (OPTIMA), No. 1 (1960) – No. 5 (1962), Leningrad, came from the brand of typewriter used to produce it. A group of students from the evening courses of the philological department at Leningrad State University, including Kim Gorev, Leonid Mikhailov and Eduard Shneiderman, formed an alternative to the official university literary society and put out this journal with poetry by their group, translations of Polish works, and articles about literature and music. Copies of issues No. 1-3 presented here come from the collection of A. F. Belousov (F. 5/2.35) at the Research Centre for East European Studies at Bremen University.
СЕВЕРНАЯ ПОЧТА [The Northern Mail]
The journal СЕВЕРНАЯ ПОЧТА (THE NORTHERN MAIL), No. 1 (1979) – No. 8 (1981), Leningrad, was edited by Sergei Dediulin and Viktor Krivulin. This relatively slim and elegantly styled typescript journal features poetry from contemporary poets and their modernist predecessors, as well as important critical articles from Krivulin, Grigory Pomerants and others. The copy of issue No. 1-2 comes from the Boris Groys Collection (F. 75) and other issues come from the Vladimir Erl’ Collection (F. 37) at the Research Centre for East European Studies at Bremen University.
СИНТАКСИС [Syntax]
The young journalist Alexander Ginzburg started the thematic collection СИНТАКСИС (SYNTAX) in Moscow. The collections included poetry not published officially. The first two issues featured poets from Moscow, and the third issue featured poetry from Leningrad. Ginzburg was arrested while working on a planned fourth issue. In addition to the outstanding poets whose works appeared in these issues (Joseph Brodsky, Nikolai Glazkov, Natalia Gorbanevskaia, Vsevolod Nekrasov, Bulat Okudzhava, Genrikh Sapgir and others), Ginzburg’s close connections to Rights activists helped make this poetry collection a landmark in early samizdat periodicals. This copy comprising issues No. 1 (1959) and No. 2 (1960) comes from the M. S. Sergienko collection (F. 92) at the Research Centre for East European Studies at Bremen University.
СИРЕНА [The Siren]
The journal СИРЕНА (THE SIREN), No. 1-2, 1962, Moscow and other cities, was produced by people who gathered at the Maiakovsky monument for informal poetry readings. Mikhail Kaplan edited СИРЕНА, which featured poetic works and charming illustrations by members of the “Maiakovtsy” group. Kaplan also selected literary items from the archive of the journal ФЕНИКС (PHOENIX) that were less overtly socio-political in character. Copies of СИРЕНА were sent to Riga, Leningrad and released in Moscow to be recopied and distributed. The copies presented here come from the V. Skuratovskii Collection (F. 30.87) at the Research Centre for East European Studies at Bremen University.
ТРИДЦАТЬ СЕМЬ [Thirty-Seven]
See the Introduction with bibliography for the journal ТРИДЦАТЬ СЕМЬ (THIRTY-SEVEN, 37) No. 1 (1976) - No. 21 (1981), Leningrad. Almost the full run is presented here, except for No. 13 and No. 19, which have not been located. Full transcriptions have been prepared and are available in the left sidebar menus beside issues. Commentary for the journal is being developed. These copies of ТРИДЦАТЬ СЕМЬ come from the Boris Groys Collection (F. 75), from the collection of Mikhail Sheinker, and from other collections at the Research Centre for East European Studies at Bremen University. The chronicles of cultural events have not been preserved in most of these copies.
ЭПСИЛОН-САЛОН [Epsilon-Salon]
The anthology called ЭПСИЛОН САЛОН (EPSILON SALON), No. 1 (1985) - No. 18 (1989), Moscow, edited by Nikolai Baitov and Alexander Barash, represented the more avant-garde wing of literary publications in the mid- to late-1980s. Among the core group were Gennady Katsov, Arkady Bartov, Oleg Dark, Valery Krupnik, Vladimir Sorokin and Mikhail Sukhotin. Issues featured contributions also by well-known conceptualist artists Dmitry Prigov and Lev Rubinshtein. The two issues presented here, No. 3 and No. 12, both from 1986, come from the collection of samizdat periodicals gathered from various sources (F. 5/1.7) at the Research Centre for East European Studies at Bremen University.