Russia That We Recover: Russian Names in Theatrical and Musical Culture of South Africa of the 20th Century


Liubov Prokopenko


In recent years, there has been a growing interest in Russia in the fate of the compatriots who ended up in Africa at different periods in the country’s history. The topic of Russian emigration to South Africa is of interest to both researchers and a wide range of readers who want to expand their knowledge about the country with which Russia is increasingly cooperating within the framework of the international BRICS association.

The article is devoted to immigrants from the Russian Empire and from Russia after the revolution of 1917 and the Civil war, who made a significant contribution to the development of the theatrical and musical culture of South Africa in the 20th century. A particular attention is paid to the creative and social activities of the Runitch couple – Russian silent screen star Ossip Runitch and his wife, Russian ballerina Nina Pavlishcheva.It is noted that the Russian community in this African country was less numerous compared to other communities, nevertheless it made a disproportionately large contribution to the development of the country, including the sphere of culture. Far from their homeland, many of our compatriots were able to adapt to a new cultural environment, while preserving Russian language and culture, elements of which they introduced into their work on the distant African continent.


Russia, emigrants, South Africa, Runitch couple, theater, opera, ballet, Afrikaans, Russian community




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