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Terugblik - 16 November 2018

Dancing Bears: Polish writer Witold Szablowski on Nostalgia for Communism

In his latest book, Dancing Bears: True Stories of People Nostalgic for Life Under Tyranny, the young Polish writer and journalist Witold Szabłowski goes looking for what remains of the communist ideals – the dancing bears from his title are released former circus animals from Bulgaria who can barely survive in the wild. During his reporter's travels through Poland, Albania, and Bulgaria, among other countries, he records the intriguing stories of people who, like the tamed bears, have been freed but often still long for the communist era. Freedom is trickier than we think, he finds, and when inequality increases, support for communism grows. Szabłowski discussed his work with Michel Krielaars, Books Editor at the NRC and author of, among other books, Alles voor het moederland (Everything for the motherland), about Stalin's reign of terror in the days of Babel and Grossman.

Event curated by Toef Jaeger (Writers Unlimited)
Books for sale courtesy of Van Stockum Booksellers

Writers Unlimited Gemeente Den Haag Fonds 1818 Bibliotheek Den Haag