Quasi-Colonial Wet Dreams: The #PussyRiot Effect, TV Screen Russians & Orientalization


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

Ivan Bilibin Vasilisa the Beautiful at the Hut of Baba Yaga
Ivan Bilibin – Vasilisa the Beautiful at the Hut of Baba Yaga, 1899.

Through the Looking Glass: Western Media Coverage of Russia. Part 2.

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Challenge, and not desire, lies at the heart of seduction. …

Take provocation, for instance, which is the opposite and the caricature of seduction. It says: “I know that you want to be seduced, and I will seduce you.” Nothing could be worse than betraying this secret rule. Nothing could be less seductive than a provocative smile or inciteful behaviour, since both presuppose that one cannot be seduced naturally and that one needs to be blackmailed into it, or through a declaration of intent: “Let me seduce you”. Jean Baudrillard “The Ecstasy of Communication”.

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Foreword.

This post focuses not on ‘Pussy Riot’ itself but on a certain phenomenon which in case (no pun intended) of Pussy Riot was vividly revealed and will be discussed here as a typical example of contemporary Western view of Russia promoted via media and popular culture. On a side note: the author did not support jail sentence of the PR members (in my opinion two weeks of community service would have been more than enough for them). Unfortunately, it was the PR’s jail sentence which was the best PR for PR (pun intended) and made the brand globally recognized as well as helped to solidify the worst pre-existing Western stereotypes about Russia (see: self-fulfilling prophecy and confirmation bias). Continue reading “Quasi-Colonial Wet Dreams: The #PussyRiot Effect, TV Screen Russians & Orientalization”

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#Klyukvification: Representation of Russia(ns) in Western Popular Culture


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

Изображение
Ivan Bilibin, Illustration to the “Frog Princess (Tsarevna Frog)” [1].

                     Foreword.

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”