Free Voices in the USSR is a project dedicated to the myriad of independent voices present in the culture of dissent in the Soviet Union in the second half of the twentieth century.
Its aim is to offer a conceptual overview of the many forms of dissent by exploring two main thematic areas, the first devoted to “free voices” in the USSR and the second focused on reception in the West. The different manifestations of the USSR’s ‘Second Culture’, which was non-official and independent, spread thanks to the samizdat (the clandestine publication and circulation of texts within the USSR) and the tamizdat (the publication of texts forbidden in the USSR in the West). The reception of non-official forms of expression in the West is explored in the context of the debates arising from the Cold War; the role of the West in engaging with the literary, cultural and artistic challenges to the Soviet regime from within its own borders proved fundamental.
Contributions to this website including critical essays, bio-bibliographic entries, archive information and the review and cataloguing of magazines are the result of coordinated research by a group of specialists at an international level.