Sasja Filipenko on Belarus and Russia

On the lasting impact of Soviet history

Programme editor
in cooperation with

Filipenko’s novels are gripping and give a biting critique of politics. He sharply analyses the power structures within the former Soviet Union. In Red Crosses, which is newly translated into Dutch as ‘Uitgewist’ he dives into the past and examines the hold the Soviet past has on the present. He tells a story of how individual lives can be broken by the grand events of history, and about the fight against the erasure of that history.

Olaf Koens is a Dutch journalist and author. He has been a reporter in Russia and the former Soviet Union, as well as a Middle East correspondent. He has reported on revolutions and wars, looking for small stories that provide insight.


Sasja FilipenkoWriter, journalist
Olaf Koens Journalist, former Russia correspondent
Nina Targan Mouravi Vertaler, PEN Nederland