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The Resource Alliance has announced the closing keynote speakers for this year’s International Fundraising Congress: Natasha Sindeeva & Vera Krichevskaya, the women behind the award-winning F@ck This Job documentary (broadcast in the UK as Tango with Putin).
The documentary charts the rise and transformation of TV station Dozhd, “the optimistic channel”, established in 2010 by Natasha Sindeeva to broadcast lifestyle content. In response to its investigative journalism and sharing of “provocative material”, including to do with the war in Ukraine, Dozhd was designated a “foreign agent” by the Russian government in 2021. Many of its staff, including Sindeeva and Krichevskaya, have since fled the country.
Commenting on the selection process for the closing keynote, Ruby Chadwick, Head of Global Engagement and Events at the Resource Alliance, said:
“Their work aligns so closely with the theme of IFC 2022. Shaping the Future Together is a bold, aspirational concept. I wanted our delegates to hear from people whose work and whose commitment to speaking the truth is changing the world – and shaping the future – even when to do so creates hardship or puts them in danger.”
Journalist Sindeeva, as well as being the founder, main owner, and CEO of Dozhd, was the cofounder and former general producer of the Silver Rain radio station. She is also a three-time laureate of the Media Manager of Russia prize, and an honorary academician of the Russian Academy of Radio. Following her classification as a foreign agent, she responded with an open letter, in which she wrote:
“[Dozhd] is almost 200 people who, just like me, love their country, cheer for it and want Russia to become better – more humane, safer, fairer, more honest, richer, freer. […] You can joke as much as you like about the status of ‘foreign agent’ and call it a ‘seal of excellence’. But, in fact, all this is terrible. It is quite awful when the state divides people into ‘friends’ and ‘strangers’.”
F@ck This Job’s director Vera Krichevskaya, who co-founded Dozhd with Natasha, is an award-winning journalist, screenwriter, television director, and producer. In an interview with the UK’s The Guardian, she explained that one of her main motivations to make the film was to show western audiences that “despite what you see on the news, we [Russians] are not freaks, not all of us. […] Some people can’t imagine that we might be normal and live in a free way. The cliche of Russia is so bad.”
The closing keynote at IFC is designed to motivate delegates to take what they have learned and apply it out in the world. “Most of us can voice our opinions and speak our minds without fearing the consequences. Natasha and Vera didn’t have that freedom, and they carried on regardless,” Ruby Chadwick commented. “This is a powerful piece of documentary cinema and we know that Natasha and Vera’s story, told in their own words, will inspire us all in our own work.”
The International Fundraising Congress returns to Noordwijkerhout in the Netherlands on 18-21 October for the first time since 2019 – in a hybrid format for the first time. EFA members and Fundraising Europe readers benefit from £75 off any ticket. For this, the code EFAIFC22 must to be applied at the top of the ticket selection box just before checkout.