Russia as the Ideal Other for the West


Russia West Mirrors

“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”

Ushanka Syndrome, #SochiProblems & Self-Fulfilling Prophecy.


Russian Stereotypes: Western Perception of Russia as seen through Russian’s eyes. Part III.

Through the Looking Glass: Western Media Coverage of Russia.

Ivan Bilibin - Illustration to the Tale of Tsar Saltan, 1905.
Ivan Bilibin – Illustration to the Tale of Tsar Saltan, 1905.

Foreword.

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.”