Life Went on Anyway: Stories (Paperback)
This is a collection of autobiographical stories written by Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, who was imprisonedin a Russian prison after he protested Russia's occupation of Eastern Ukraine and Crimea in 2014. Sentsov worked on this collection while imprisoned and was released in 2019, around the same time as its publication. I found Sentsov's to be introspective, sarcastic, and melancholic. They paint a strong image of his life growing up in the USSR and how his life experiences shaped him to be a voice of opposition, and in turn they made me reflect on my own life.— From Molly
These autobiographical stories display a mix of nostalgia and philosophical insight, written in a simple yet profound style looking back on a life's path that led Sentsov to become an internationally renowned dissident artist.Sentsov's charges seemingly stem from his opposition to Russia's invasion and occupation of eastern Ukraine where he lived in the Crimea. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison in August 2015 on spurious terrorism charges after he was kidnapped in his house and put through a grossly unfair trial by a Russian military court, marred by allegations of torture. Many of the stories included here were read during international campaigns by PEN International, the European Film Academy, and Amnesty International, among others, to support the case for Sentsov across the world.
Sentsov's final words at his trial, "Why bring up a new generation of slaves?" have become a rallying cry for his cause. He spent 145 days on hunger strike in 2018 to urge the Russian authorities to release all Ukrainians unfairly imprisoned in Russia, an act of profound courage that contributed to the European Parliament's awarding him the prestigious Sakharov Prize for Freedom of ThoughtSentsov remains in a prison camp in Russia. It is the publisher's hope this book, published in collaboration with PEN Ukraine, contributes to his timely release.