GasLit Nation Podcast: Dictators Die, Art Is Forever: The Oleg Sentsov Interview

On our one billionth week in self-isolation, we discuss the trauma of the coronavirus crisis and how it’s reshaping our political landscape. As we struggle with an uncertain future and a tragic present marked by mass death, we discuss the brutal nonchalance of the Trump administration’s kleptocratic core. Counter to everyone else in the US, the Trump Crime Cult is not acting as if they’re unsure of what the future holds. They appear very assured of their future. They are behaving, in fact, like people who knew this was coming. 

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We discuss the exploitation of the crisis by the Trump regime, their ominous long-term plans to remain in DC while they let New Yorkers die,

and their hoarding of necessary medical equipment for personal profit. We also remind everyone that Trump is a Kremlin asset and that his current destruction of the United States — in which he pits states against each other in a literal life or death battle for medical supplies – fulfills a long-time Putin fantasy. The collapse of the Soviet Union and its separation into independent states was the worst thing that happened to Putin, and he would love to replicate it in a fractious US. This is one of many, many reasons that we need to support each other as Americans.

Finally, we conclude with a special interview with Oleg Sentsov, a Ukrainian filmmaker from Crimea who was kidnapped from Crimea during Russia’s invasion and imprisoned by a Russian court for his activism. Sentsov was released in 2019, and Andrea got the first interview with him in the US after his release. Sentsov’s story of persevering under brutal conditions, and never surrendering his commitment to his art and his principles, is one that we need to hear in these dark times of self-imposed isolation. 

We encourage you to listen to our March 2019 episode about Sentsov’s inpsiring story of making a film from a Siberian prison. That film, Numbers, recently premiered at the Berlin Film Festival. As Andrea mentions in her interview, Sentsov’s book of short stories, Life Went on Anyway, is worth reading, especially for fans of Hemingway. For the full coverage of Sentsov’s recent trip to urge the US to support Ukraine and not underestimate Putin, check out his chilling remarks in this write-up from PEN America.  Sentsov also calls on us not to forget Ukrainian political prisoners kidnapped during Russia’s invasion: “Hundreds remain held in inhumane, impossible conditions in Russia and the occupied territories. Most of these prisoners are Crimean-Tatars put in jail for no reason other than their vocal opposition to Crimea’s annexation. Many are tortured. Many lack any legal recourse. And many are forgotten, left behind without the international fame that helped secure my release.”

Our bonus episode this week is a full hour of your questions about coronavirus, the elections, state corruption, and more! To send us a question, subscribe on our Patreon at the Democracy Defender level or higher. To hear our answers in this weekly bonus episode, subscribe at the Truth-Teller level or higher. Like all media outlets, Gaslit Nation is scrambling to stay afloat in this tumultuous economic climate. We are an independent podcast, which is why we are able to speak as freely as we do, and your support ensures we stay this way! Please consider joining our Patreon – it makes a difference!

Finally, Sarah’s new book, HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT, is finally out! This book is one-third documentation of Trump’s rise and criminality; one-third the story of the erosion of American institutions; and one-third Sarah’s autobiography, including her firsthand view of 9/11, the Ferguson uprising, the 2016 election, and the transformation of the media. It describes what happened to America between the late 1970s and now, how its declining conditions birthed Donald Trump and vice versa, and what it’s like to grow up in the wreckage. It’s written from the heart and you can get it at www.hidinginplainsightbook.com

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