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Biography and Career

Inna Rogatchi is an internationally acclaimed writer, scholar, lecturer, film-maker and art photographer. In her work, she focuses on the inter-weaving of history, culture and mentality. During her career, she has covered a wide range of subjects, including political and modern history, international affairs, anti-Semitism and xenophobia, international terrorism and security, culture development and human behaviour.

Inna's family is related to the family of famous Austrian musicians Roseand also to Gustav Mahler. Inna's great-aunt, outstanding violist Eleanor Rose had been the closest friend for life of the great film director Fritz Lang, the niece of Gustav Mahler and a cousin of the famous musician Alma Rose who tragically died in Auschwitz.

Among the distinguished members of Inna's immediate family, there were outstanding scientists: world class expert on physical chemistry and nuclear science, the academician Solomon Jelovich who played a pivotal role in the scientific assessment immediately after the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear explosions in 1945; and one of the leading defence scientists, the father of precision bombing mechanisms for aviation Solomon Buyanover.


Inna's maternal great-grandfather Meer Chigrinsky was the man who personally saved the 50,000-member strong Jewish community of Dnepropetrovsk in Ukraine from Stalin's famine of the 1930s. The story about it is written in the well-known memoir of Rebbetzin Chaya-Mushka Schneerson, the wife of the Chief-Rabbi Yitzhak Schneerson and mother of the 7th Luvavitch Rebbe.

Inna's parents, Anna Pinsky-Buyanover and Isaac Buyanover, were both very able intellectuals and champions in their corresponding fields. Anna Buyanover has been a legendary teacher of languages who trained many generations of pupils and has authored revolutionary methods of teaching for both teachers and students. There is a special Anna Buyanover museum in the one of the schools in Ukraine that preserves her legacy. Inna's father Isaac Buyanover was a very talented engineer and inventor who had had many patents in his name. He was also a very advanced chess-player and keen photographer.

In an historical perspective, Inna's father's family came from Toledo, Spain, and Inna's maternal family is traced as coming from Krakow, Poland. Eventually, and following the historical migration of the Jewish people, both families went through similar routes crossing France, Germany, Poland and Lithuania, and coming to Ukraine in the 19th - beginning of the 20th century.

Inna has graduated with honours from the Dnepropetrovsk University in Ukraine at the end of the 1970s and worked on her dissertation as a philosopher and specialist on the behavioural aspects of biology and psychology. In parallel with her scientific research, she was always writing and being active in several genres of prose, poetry, and essays. Following Inna's husband Michael's scientific career, the family moved to St Petersburg (then Leningrad) in the early 1980s where Inna gave up her scientific career and started to work in theatre as a dramatist. Her years in the Academic Maly Drama Theatre led by Lev Dodin, the best and legendary late-Soviet theatre, enriched her significantly with regard to the qualified art and its approach. At the same time, Inna continued to write actively, and became the art editor for the Actors Union which has been known for its liberal views and inventive approach to creativity.

In the late 1980s, both Inna and Michael Rogatchi decided to try to apply their creative visions, and not less importantly, their moral stand using the opportunity to work in their own, semi-free under the late-Soviet conditions, theatre in St Petersburg, The People's House. Inna's key play for the theatre, Playing the King, was a super-hit in the late 1980s all over the former Soviet Union and abroad. Inna has authored a few more plays, as well. One was called In the Mirror of the Zone and reflected the theme of the human and moral response in any society to the situations prompted by a nuclear catastrophe.

In the unfolding of the family's tragedy and while trying to save the life of their only child, Julia-Yenike who had contracted cancer as the result of the Chernobyl catastrophe, the Rogatchis went to live in Finland in the end of the 1980s. Their only daughter is now buried there, and Inna and Michael have become Finnish citizens. Since that time, they have been living and working in Finland, Italy and the USA.

During her professional career, Inna has worked actively on several paths of knowledge and in the arts.

For about thirty years, she has been a senior foreign desk columnist and foreign editor-at-large for a number of leading Finnish, Scandinavian, Baltic and international media, currently concentrating on essays published regularly in leading European and American media outlets. Dr. Rogatchi is one of only two women among fifteen leading European politicians (including the president of the European Parliament, the prime minister of Finland, members of the EU Commission, and leaders of the political factions from the European Parliament) who contributed to the book Quo Vadis, Europe? published on the occasion of the launching of the pan-European electoral campaign for the new European Parliament. Fritz W. Ermarth, director of the National Security Programs at the Nixon Centre, and former chairman of the US National Intelligence Committee, has said of this essay that it "places Inna Rogatchi among the world-class strategic thinkers of the modern times."

Dr. Rogatchi is an essayist and international affairs columnist for The Baltic Times and The Lithuanian Tribune, the most popular English-language media in the Baltic States, Scandinavia and the Northern Europe; regular contributor to Diplomaatia, the leading political magazine, Estonia, to The JerUSAlem Connection Report, highly reputed online publication in the USA, to Arutz Sheva, the Israeli National News Service, the Jerusalem Post, Aish. com, and The Algemeiner ( New York, USA).

She is the author of several notable books, among which are: The Shattered Generation, or The Ten Commandments in the USSR (1992) a multifaceted, comprehensive analysis of Russian society and mentality, short-listed for the Russian Booker Prize, and acclaimed as "the encyclopaedia of the entire Russian life and character" (writer Irina Ratushinskaja), "Nobel-prize' worthy portrait of Russia and the Russian character " (analyst and intelligence expert Victor Suvorov), " very well-written detailed 'diagnosis' of Soviet totalitarianism" (dissident Vladimir Bukovsky), and "the best anti-totalitarian book ever published in Europe since the end of WWII" (by Pekka Hyvarinen, editor-in-chief of the leading Finnish magazine Suomen Kuvalehti); The Blind Mirror (1997) examines the relationship between the individual and the state apparatus through the prism of international intelligence activities during and after the Cold War. Based on never-before published materials, the book caused extraordinary international interest; Yellow Star in the Red Sky (1995) a study of modern-day Russian anti-Semitism and extreme nationalism, is exhibited in both the Yad-Vashem Museum and the World Museum of Anti-Semitism in Israel. A special exhibition on the topic of modern anti-Semitism based on this book has been shown many times in Finland and other Scandinavian countries at numerous events and forums dealing with the most acute problems of international development; The Human Connection (in progress) examines the events and the personalities embodying those phenomena of the most eventful period of modern history – the first two decades after the fall of communism; Dark Stars, Brave Hearts: The Legacy of the Post-Holocaust (in progress) – a collection of first-hand personal reflections on Holocaust in the span of 70 years after the end of WWII and analyses of how the experience and memories of the fight against evil influenced the lives of modern societies and its individuals.

In her capacity as a scholar and lecturer, Inna has created and taught several special courses for universities (history and international affairs departments), focusing on the inter-weave of culture, mentality and history. She also lectures widely on various topics in many leading world institutions such as the UN, the European Parliament, the Institute of the World Politics (USA), and many others.

As an academic advisor, Inna is very busy with advising senior members of the European Parliament, many European Parliaments and their members, as well as leading international companies and the companies and institutions that provide innovative approach to the multi-sided management of crisis situations.

Working as a film-maker - being producer, director and author of several international documentaries, Inna focuses on a first-hand portrayal of historical personalities and phenomena of modern times. She has worked in the genre of 'the metaphorical documentary' and emphasises her belief in the concept of 'authored film-making'. Among her films are The Lessons of Survival: Conversations with Simon Wiesenthal which shows never-before seen footage and is based on special research, which has revealed important facts and fascinating stories. The film has been acquired by Yad-Vashem for their permanent film collection and library. The European premiere of the film marked the International Holocaust Remembrance Day in January 2014 at the European Parliament, and there were other notable special events on the film which has been attested as "riveting" by the Israeli National News and as "timeless" by Ambassador Harri Mäki-Reinikka of Finland.

Other films of Inna's are:

The Morning After The Cold War, a unique documentary of the first ever - and never to be repeated since - series of meetings of Western and Eastern veterans of the special services, including untold before parts of many intriguing stories landmarking modern history, such as Garry Powers' and Sam Jaffe's families' recollections; the film has been shown very widely with big success;

Hunting the Shadow, an unprecedented inside story on the global activities of international organised crime 'modernised' after the collapse of communism; the film which contains unique operative records of leading anti-organised crime European agencies, and other unparalleled materials, was acclaimed very widely and has been bought by many countries;

One man, Two Lives... One Life, Two Men...: the first full story on the crucial intelligence operations and activities during the Cold War period (the documentary was presented with very big success at the Cannes World Festival of the Documentary Movies, and had been bought by more than 25 countries).

Inna also had been producing deep and fascinating personal documentary portraits of many leading personalities of our time, including late Czech president Vaclav Havel, late Russian general Alexander Lebed, late Elena Bonner, who was wife and then widow of Academician Saharov. Among the other heroes of Inna's films are the famous Soviet dissident Vladimir Bukowsky, legendary Italian judge Pier-Luigi Vigna, leading American historians and writers, Leona and Jerrold Schecters, and many others.

Inna is also an internationally acclaimed fine art photographer, with many exhibitions held in Finland, Lithuania, Belgium (at the European Parliament), Italy, UK, USA, Israel, Russia, Estonia and other countries, her works are being exhibited in museums, public institutions as well as private collections world-wide. Her special genre is the photo and video-essay based on extensive research, in which she exams the inter-connection between culture, history and mentality. In 2017, she won the prestigious IX Il Volo di Pegaso Italian National Literature and Arts Award. 

Importantly, Inna is inventor and promoter of Lux Sei Photo Art ©, a particular direction of fine art photography that provides psychological comfort. Her works in that genre have been successfully applied in Finland, UK, Japan, and Spain, where the Spanish National Cancer Association has selected it for application in psychological treatment of cancer patients.

Inna works also in other directions of the visual arts, notably creating musical video-essays and short films based on her and her husband's art series. Many of Inna's short films have been acquired by the Yad Vashem Visual Centreand are used there in the Yad-Vashem educational programmes.

Inna was a special guest artist to the European Parliament launching her collection called The Route in commemoration of the Day of Jerusalem at the European Parliament (2012); at the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the restoration of the famous Campanilla at St Marc Square in Venice; at a special exhibition Homage to Italian Cinema in conjunction with the 69th Venice Film Festival; at the VII International Musical Collection Festival in the St Petersburg Academic Philharmonic, and many other events.

Her special project Shining Souls. Champions of Humantity  has been launched at the European Parliament at the International Holocaust Remembrance Day in 2017. 

The list of Inna's fine art photography projects, and musical video-essays representing them, can be seen on Inna Rogatchi's World - Fine Art Photography and Art Videos webpages.

As art curator, Inna has curated many unique projects, such as:

The Life of Two of Us and Melody for Two exhibition of the two art series by Michael Rogatchi at the Palazzo Jacometti in Florence, Italy – a 10-month exhibition that has been included by the Florence art authorities in the city's 'art package' alongside with the exhibition of Botticelli's work (2010-2011);

The Auschwitz Album Re-Visited exhibition of 40 works of art by Pat Mercer Hutchens (USA), the first ever exhibition in Eastern Europe of the dramatic collection of the famed American artist, as the main event of the commemoration of the International Holocaust and Remembrance Day 2014Jewish People Memory and Holocaust in Ukraine Museum, Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine.

Jewish Melody exhibition of original art work series by Michael Rogatchi in Vilnius (at the Vilnius Public Jewish Library) and Tallinn (at the Tallin Synagogue and Culture Centre) 2013-2014. The project in Vilnius was part of the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the extermination of the Vilnius Ghetto and part of the official programme of the IV World Litvak Congress. The project in Tallinn commemorates the Day of Jerusalem and the 7th anniversary of the building of the Tallinn Synagogue.

In her philanthropic activities with her husband artist Michael Rogatchi, Inna co-founded both Arts Against Cancer (AAC) and later The Rogatchi Foundation.

Arts Against Cancer was an international charity founded by the Rogatchis whose success for over a decade led to their establishing The Rogatchi Foundation (www.rogatchi.org), which is actively supporting international educational, cultural, and charitable activities. The honourable Chairman of the AAC was maestro Mstislav Rostropovich, and among the members of the AAC International Advisory Board were the Queen of Denmark Margreth, Sir Paul and Linda McCartneyMaurice BejartVladimir Spivakov, and many other outstanding cultural and public figures.

The policy of The Rogatchi Foundation reflects the intention of Inna and Michael Rogatchi to reach out to a wide spectrum of people in need, and thus, the Foundation helped victims of the Fukushima disaster in Japan, contributed to the funding for a special training programme for nurses at the Royal London hospital, provides help in educating girls in a school in Ghana, established stipends for teachers in Ukraine, etc.

Among Inna's public recognitions, in 2013 she was awarded by The New York Jewish Children Museum International Award for Outstanding Contribution in Arts and Culture, alongside the outstanding musician Evgeny Kissin and her husband Michael Rogatchi.

In 2013, JLTV, a Los-Angeles based major international TV channel, filmed and broadcast a special programme MELODY OF LIGHT: The Life and Art of Inna and Michael Rogatchi (JLTV broadcast it as their Chanukkah Special for 2013). The programme has become very popular, it has made it to the top-list of Art of Living category at Mashpedia; has been re-produced by many prestigious American and international media, and has been acquired by Yad Vashem for their permanent film collection and film library.

The programme can be watched here:

Inna Rogatchi is the only woman and the third person who was recognised by the Patmos Solidary Award ( 2014) for 'the hard-labour of memory'. 

She is also bearer of the Special Diploma of the Chicago Film Festival and the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Educational Centre for her 'outstanding contribution into the international Holocaust education". 

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