When the Music is your special friend
dance on fire as it intends
Music is your only friend
until the end…
“Beware the Jabberwock, my son,
the jaws that bite and claws that scratch
Beware the jubjub bird
and shun the frumious bandersnatch.“
Lewis Carroll, “Jabberwocky”.
It is no use to blame the looking glass if your face is awry.
Nikolai Gogol, “The Inspector General”.
Russia is the ideal Other for the West (and vice versa). It is rather obvious to me yet often overlooked by various Russia watchers and experts. The reason behind this phenomenon is not only ‘bias’ or ‘propaganda’. Continue reading “Russia as the Ideal Other for the West”
Russian Stereotypes: Western Perception of Russia as seen through Russian’s eyes. Part III.
Through the Looking Glass: Western Media Coverage of Russia.
The first post on ‘Western media coverage of Russia’ (and the third in ‘Russian Stereotypes’ series) reveals some reasons behind the #SochiProblems popularity. The second one will cover the relation between the image of Russia in the West and the collective self-image of Russians… as well as what I call the ‘Pussy Riot effect’.
Media clearly plays a very important, if not crucial role, in the process of constructing the image of a country and its people. Moreover, stereotypes and media are a match made in heaven. Russian stereotypes aren’t an exception. Certain agenda, (confirmation) bias, lack of knowledge or misconception of Russia(ns) in the Western media form a ‘perception’ iron curtain, invisible yet rigid blinkers on the eyes which produce a simplified demonization or mystification picture. I refer to the external manifestation of such phenomenon as ushanka syndrome. Continue reading “Ushanka Syndrome, #SochiProblems & Self-Fulfilling Prophecy.”
Russian Stereotypes: Western Perception of Russia as seen through Russian’s eyes. Part II.
It should be noted here that by ‘Western popular culture’ I mean mainly klyukvified* films which I see as a height of evolution of stereotypical Russian narrative in the West. This post doesn’t deconstruct the Russian stereotypes in Western (American) films in detail. There are too many of these films and it will take not a post but a book for me to cover only some of them. My aim is also to reveal generalized characteristics of Russian men’ images in the Western cinema. I’ll devote a separate post to the view of Russian women in the West.
The image of Russia in contemporary Western world is to a big degree shaped by the popular culture and is articulated in films, books, songs/music videos, ads and caricatures. Since the Cold War era (and earlier) cultural propaganda in the form of mass culture products helped to fix the image of Russia and Russians in the ways shown below.
Continue reading “#Klyukvification: Representation of Russia(ns) in Western Popular Culture”