Podcast No. 49. Simon & Sergei with Irina Kosterina

This week our guest on the podcast is Irina Vladimirovna Kosterina. Irina Kosterina is Programme Coordinator of the Heinrich Böll Foundation in Russia, a sociologist and gender researcher, trainer and organiser of rehabilitation retreats for activists, human rights activists, journalists and NGO workers.

The questions we discuss on the podcast include: what is the Heinrich Böll Foundation and what are the programmes of its Moscow branch; the Femfest which took place in Moscow in November 2020; the meaning of “Gender Democracy”; how Russian society feels about the idea of equal rights for men and women; the influence of the Russian Orthodox Church on attituded to gender equality; the difference in attitudes and evaluation of the idea of gender equality between Russians and the peoples of the Caucasian republics; the Böll Foundation’s studies on the role of gender in four Caucasian republics; the Foundation’s new project in Russia on overcoming and preventing burnout, stress and fatigue among NGO employees, activists, human rights defenders and journalists; what the future of the human rights movement in Russia holds

This podcast is in the Russian language. You can listen to it here:

You can also listen to the podcast on Podcasts.com,  SoundCloud,  Spotify  or  iTunes

The music, from Stravinsky’s Elegy for Solo Viola, is performed for us by Karolina Herrera.

Sergei Nikitin writes on Facebook Irina Kosterina is a sociologist, gender researcher, and programme coordinator of the Heinrich Böll Foundation in Moscow. Simon Cosgrove and I talked to Irina about many things: feminism, the recent Femfest 2020, the “traditional values” of the state, the role of men and women in the Caucasian republics, the burnout of people working in NGOs, and much more. For me, this was a continuation of a conversation we had started last August, when Irina stopped by for a visit and I treated her to my kari and showed her our local area. Speaking of feminism, Irina shared with us a recent story about how people concerned about “traditional culture” crashed the streaming of Femfest 2020 – it’s not clear whether out of their own enthusiasm or for money – which made it necessary to limit entry to the online event to those who registered. Although the word “feminism” often provokes an inadequate and aggressive reaction from a certain category of people, ideas of equality and justice are slowly gaining popularity, as Irina Kosterina discussed in our podcast.

Simon Cosgrove adds: If you want to listen to this podcast on the podcasts.com website and it doesn’t seem to play, please download by clicking on the three dots to the right. A summary of some of the week’s events in Russia relevant to human rights can be found on our website here.

Leave a Reply