During the Soviet period Perm (back then it was known as Molotov) was the centre of political repression where the artistic and scientific intelligentsia were exiled. That is why there was a very specific cultural atmosphere. Due to its importance as the main centre of the Soviet weapons industry, Perm became a closed and secret zone. These two factors determined the destiny of the city that was called the “Capital of Civil Society” or even the “Capital of Russian Liberalism” after 1989. In 2006 Perm received the honorary status of the Volga Capital of Culture and began to realize extensive cultural programs reforming the cultural sphere.
The International Civil Forum “Pilorama”
For the first time the “Pilorama” forum took place in 2005 on the territory of the memorial museum of the history of political repression “Perm-36”. “Pilorama” includes theatre, cinematography and music performances that go along with discussions about freedom of speech, democracy and civil society. Every year a certain historical period of our country becomes the topic of discussions and performances. The VII International civil forum “Pilorama-2011” was devoted to the events of August 1991 viewed from nowadays perspective. Many famous people as the German human rights lawyer Frank Peter, the UN senior Human Rights adviser Dirk Hebecker, the UK theatre and opera director Hunt Michael and many others were invited.
http://pilorama.perm36.ru/ (in Russian)