We see mafias as vast, powerful organisations, harvesting billions of dollars across the globe and wrapping their tentacles around everything from governance to finance. But is this the truth? Travelling from mafia initiation ceremonies in far-flung Russian cities to elite gambling clubs in downtown Macau, Federico Varese sets off in search of answers. Using wiretapped conversations, interviews and previously unpublished police records, he builds up a picture of the real men and women caught up in mafia life, showing their loves and fears, ambitions and disappointments, as well as their crimes.
Tonight’s event with Nawal El Saadawi, the veteran Egyptian feminist campaigner who yesterday recieved the Women of the Year Outstanding Achievement Award is sold out, but you can watch it online from 7pm. Next week we will be joined by the Guardian’s Luke Harding and the BBC’s Angus Roxburgh to discuss their experiences reporting from Russia and whether the country is a Mafia […]