"The documentary is inspired by the unpredictable events of recent times – from the rise of Donald Trump to Brexit, the war in Syria, the endless migrant crisis, and random bomb attacks. It seeks to explain both why these chaotic events are happening, and why we and our leaders can't understand them. Curtis's theory is that Westerners - politicians, journalists, experts and members of the public alike - have retreated into a simplified, and often completely fake version of the world. But because it is all-encompassing, we accept it as normal.
HyperNormalisation explores this hollow world by looking back at 40 years of events, and profiling a diverse cast of characters such as: the Assad dynasty, Donald Trump, Henry Kissinger, Patti Smith, the early performance artists in New York, President Putin, intelligent machines, Japanese gangsters and suicide bombers."
(Holly Barrett, 22nd September 2016, Royal Television Society)
"Individual freedom is the dream of our age. It's what our leaders promise to give us, it defines how we think of ourselves and, repeatedly, we have gone to war to impose freedom around the world. But if you step back and look at what freedom actually means for us today, it's a strange and limited kind of freedom.
Politicians promised to liberate us from the old dead hand of bureaucracy, but they have created an evermore controlling system of social management, driven by targets and numbers. Governments committed to freedom of choice have presided over a rise in inequality and a dramatic collapse in social mobility. And abroad, in Iraq and Afghanistan, the attempt to enforce freedom has led to bloody mayhem and the rise of an authoritarian anti-democratic Islamism. This, in turn, has helped inspire terrorist attacks in Britain. In response, the Government has dismantled long-standing laws designed to protect our freedom.
The Trap is a series of three films by Bafta-winning producer Adam Curtis that explains the origins of our contemporary, narrow idea of freedom. It shows how a simplistic model of human beings as self-seeking, almost robotic, creatures led to today's idea of freedom. This model was derived from ideas and techniques developed by nuclear strategists during the Cold War to control the behavior of the Soviet enemy."
"The Russian Embassy in Bulgaria has issued a note demanding that its former Soviet–era ally clean up the monument in Sofia's Lozenets district, identify and punish those responsible, and take 'exhaustive measures' to prevent similar attacks in the future, the news agency reported Monday.
The monument was spray–painted on the eve of the Bulgarian Socialist Party's celebration of its 123rd anniversary, the Sofia–based Novinite news agency reported.
The vandalism was the latest in a series of similar recent incidents in Bulgaria – each drawing angry criticism from Moscow.
Early this year, unknown artists painted another monument to Soviet troops in Sofia in the colors of the Ukrainian flag.
In August last year, a Soviet army monument in Sofia was painted pink in an 'artistic apology' for Bulgaria's support of Soviet troops who suppressed Czechoslovakia's Prague Spring revolt against Moscow–based communist rulers."
(Anna Dolgov, 19 August 2014, The Moscow Times)
"Так называемая «Советская эротическая азбука» скульптора-монументалиста Сергея Дмитриевича Меркурова (1881—1952) — автора многочисленных монументов И. В. Сталину (в том числе трех самых крупных на территории СССР) и В. И. Ленину. Знаменитая и крылатая фраза: “В СССР секса нет” имела скорее всего политическую подоплёку. Если самого Лаврентия Берию можно назвать продолжателем дела “секс-машины” Григория Распутина, то, напротив, добропорядочного советского гражданина Сергея Дмитриевича Меркурова, лауреата нескольких сталинских премий, – «строго засекреченным русским Байросом». Данную папку он подписал на обложке: акварельные рисунки И.И. Иванова (1886-1924) и даже указал годы его жизни. Как будто, это имело какое-то значение для работников “карающего меча революции”. Чувствуется сильное влияние французской и южно-немецкой школ живописи."
"The roots of the 'living newspaper' in Europe can be traced to Italian futurism in the early decades of the twentieth century. It was in the young Soviet Union (and principally the Moscow Institute of Journalism), however, that it was developed into a recognisable form of agitprop theatre. Performed by small bands of propagandists, the scripts for zhivaya gazeta were often pasted together from materials found in newspapers–though a high degree of improvisation was also encouraged–and were designed to provide illiterate audiences (such as workers or Red Army recruits) with details of campaigns, battles or other newsworthy events (Casson, 2000). Plays were performed on street corners or in other public spaces, with the aid of a handful of props and simple yet highly symbolic costumes .
By the late 1920s, however, zhivaya gazeta were already being seen as passé by many dramatists in the Soviet Union, with all forms of 'revolutionary agitational art' becoming 'increasingly unwelcome', and official attention turning towards the development of more sophisticated forms of theatre in the lead up to the adoption of socialist realism as official state doctrine in 1932 (Frolova‐Walker, 2006: 185). Indeed, Stalin disbanded the Blue Blouse Group, the main exponent of zhivaya gazeta, in 1928 (Casson, 2000:109)."
(Jeremy Taylor. p.29)
 Top hats, for instance, were used with much frequency to mark out a particular character as being bourgeois (Tolstoy, 1998: 24).
Jeremy E.Taylor (2013). The Sinification of Soviet Agitational Theatre: 'Living Newspapers' in Mao's China, Journal of the British Association for Chinese Studies, Vol. 2 July 2013.