Series of lectures "Conversations in Dark Times"

Art Residence

The events of the beginning of the "special military operation" showed that in Russia there is no religion as an independent ideological force. Our task is to carry through the chaos evidence of inalienable spiritual values ​​- those that cannot be turned over to please this or that regime. This is unconditional love for every person, unconditional equality of people and freedom as an unconditional and inalienable property of a person. We decided to create a project that could bring us into contact with the experience of art and the Syrian mystical tradition.

Brecht's "dark times", as Hannah Arendt writes about them, allow pariahs to live in the warmth of human brotherhood. With the help of such meetings, we would like to focus on a personal meeting and the experience of live communication in this difficult time.


Lena Skripkina is a director of non-fiction films, a theologian.

Maxim Kalinin is a researcher of the history of the Aramaic language and the Mesopotamian Christian mystical tradition, is engaged in the search and publication of the lost texts of East Syrian mystics. Chief Editor of Media Projects of the Poznanie Charitable Foundation, Research Fellow at the All-Church Postgraduate and Doctoral Studies, Senior Lecturer at the Department of Biblical Studies.



Lecture 1: Pain and experiences of living it
April 21, 19:00

How to endure the pain that we hear about everywhere? What points of support to look for in our own pain and impotence? We have selected 7 stories about the experience of pain from the texts of the East Syriac mystical tradition (Christian Mesopotamia, 7th-9th centuries), which was largely a response to the experience of pain and war, and from modern art, which was born largely as a response to the catastrophes of the 20th century.

Isaac the Syrian speaks of the pain associated with prayer. This pain appears in the heart (you are “phenomenologically” aware of it in the heart, it is not physical pain) from concentrated prayer, and at the same time it itself collects your attention. And in this pain, Isaac the Syrian gathers pain for all people, the memory of all who suffer. Isaac Sirin considers this pain a personal crucifixion of a person. From here he unfolds the experience of her living.

This experience of living pain gives a person an outlet in a mystical experience or in active love. He saves a person from anesthesia - a new epidemic of modern society, blocking evidence of other people's suffering.

At the meeting, we will watch excerpts from "The Satanic Tango" and "The Turin Horse" by Bela Tarr, the works of Francisco Goya and William Blake and other authors in the experience of experiencing pain as a premonition.

We chose the number 7 not by chance: explaining the meaning of Saturday as the 7th day of creation, Isaac the Syrian says that Saturday is a symbol of death, when a person’s effort stops, and until that moment a person must overcome himself and resist evil as much as possible. Outside of time is Sunday, the 8th day, the eschaton, which love impresses in the world of pain.

Registration for a lecture

Dates: April 21 at 19:00
Address: Perevedenodskiy pereulok 18, Art Residence

Series of lectures Curator: Lena Skripkina, director of non-fiction films, theologian.