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Imagining Russia The Problem of Nationhood.  “… nationality… as well as nationalism, are cultural artefacts of a particular kind” (4)  How is Russian.

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Presentation on theme: "Imagining Russia The Problem of Nationhood.  “… nationality… as well as nationalism, are cultural artefacts of a particular kind” (4)  How is Russian."— Presentation transcript:

1 Imagining Russia The Problem of Nationhood

2  “… nationality… as well as nationalism, are cultural artefacts of a particular kind” (4)  How is Russian national identity to be “created”?  What are the individual problems that Russia faces in defining itself?

3  Create a new Russian identity on the basis of the Russian Federation, formerly the RSFSR (Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic)  Develop an economy.  Invent a system of government.  Define international relations with partners and neighbours.

4 One nation? Or multinational??

5 Eastern European model  “One language, one people, one religion”  Adopted in Baltics, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia  Write out the Soviet period; rewrite history as a victim narrative.  Problems of minorities ignored  Ethnic differences lead to war in Moldova, Azerbaijan, Georgia

6 The “Irish” solution  Symbolic official language: Belarusian, Russian second  Practice “on the ground”: Russian spoken  Ukraine: effectively bilingual, but one official language

7  The dual identity of the Soviet citizen  One language of communication: Russian  Widespread study of the cultures of the other peoples  All should know their native language and culture and Russian language and culture.

8 The Russian difference  Continues the Soviet model of dual identity  Integrate the common Soviet experience, Russian language as the unifying factors  Limited recognition of multiconfessionality  Limited regional ethnic dominance: Tatarstan, Chechnya, North Caucasus  Limited status of regional languages

9  State system of government  Historical narrative  Heroic figures from the past  Religious identifiers  Language  Cultural figures  Literature, music, art  State symbols  Holidays and popular customs

10  Amalgamated elements of pre- Revolutionary Russia and Soviet Union  Alexander Nevsky’s victory over German knights in 1242  Victory over Napoleon in 1812  World War I and White Army generals  The victory in Europe in 1945  The first man in the Cosmos

11  Many cities and streets given back their old pre-Soviet names (depending on local politics)  Tsaritsyno – Stalingrad – Volgograd  St Petersburg – Petrograd – Leningrad – St Petersburg (but still in the Leningrad oblast!)  Tver – Kalinin – Tver BUT: Kaliningrad remained (formerly Königsberg, Germany)

12 Pre-revolutionary Russian symbols return: the two-headed eagle, the new anthem taken from Glinka, the Russian tricolor flag.

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15  Eltsin Changes the Anthem To music by Mikhail Glinka Unofficial lyrics to ”Be Glorious, Russia!" by Viktor Radugin  Be glorious, be glorious, motherland-Russia! You passed through the centuries and the thunderstorms And the sun shines above you And your destiny is bright.  Above the ancient Moscow Kremlin Waves the banner with the two-headed eagle And the sacred words resound: Be glorious, Russia – my fatherland!

16  In 2000 Vladimir Putin returns to the original (Soviet) anthem with new words.  Compare the words of the anthems: which is more appropriate for the new state?  Was the change a good move?

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18  Peter the Great: great transformer of Russia  Yury Gagarin: first man in space  Admiral Kolchak (leader of White resistance to Bolsheviks)  Marshal Zhukov: Second World War general  Actors  Film and theatre directors  Russian sportsmen

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20  Monument to Peter the Great

21  Monument to 2 nd World War General Zhukov

22  Great World War I leader  Commanded the White forces against the Reds  Executed by the Bolsheviks in Irkutsk in 1920

23 … still stands in many city centres! Here, on Lenin Square in front of the Finland Station in St Petersburg

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29  His plays become very popular, many films based on his short stories

30  Great revolutionary theatre director  Murdered on Stalin’s orders in 1940

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32  Bolsheviks persecuted religion in early days: priests shot or imprisoned, churches destroyed.  Brief thaw during WWII.  Until the 1980s religious practices discouraged through the workplace, Communist Youth League (komsomol).  Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) profoundly infiltrated by the KGB: many preferred the Baptist and other underground movements.

33  1988: celebration of 1000 years of Christianity.  Church services shown on TV for the first time.  1990: Aleksii II becomes patriarch of ROC.  1990 Law on Freedom of Religion; reinforced by the Russian Constitution of  Russia invaded by American evangelists – Billy Graham, the Mormons, etc.

34  During his term, presided over a revival of the ROC, close ties with the Russian state.  Built ties with branches of the ROC abroad.  Encouraged the reconstruction of many churches.   Succeeded as Patriarch by Kirill of Smolensk.

35  Popular Orthodox priest of church outside Moscow.  Sermons, books, teaching, attracted and baptized many  Probably too popular, also of Jewish origin.  9 September 1990 – murdered with an axe in the forest walking to his parish.

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37  … favors the role of the Russian Orthodox Church as an “inseparable part of the all-Russian historical, spiritual, and cultural heritage” and mentions the state’s recognition of Islam, Buddhism, Judaism, and other religions and local beliefs "traditionally existing in the Russian Federation.”  It makes … distinctions between religious formations.  First, between “religious organizations” which are granted all the rights of a legal entity, and “religious groups” which can carry out their activities within the limits of a whole range of restrictions.  Second, between local and all-Russian religious organizations which differ in scope and mode of their operations. It also introduces a special category of “foreign religious organization” which cannot have its “representatives” in Russia unless invited by a Russian religious organization with permission of the Russian federal government.

38  Up to 20 million, but about 5% practising.  Concentrated in certain republics: Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, Caucasus republics, e.g. Chechnya.  President Kadyrov of Chechnya constructs a huge Mosque in the capital Grozny.

39  Difficult relationship with ROC.  John Paul II unable to visit Russia.  Recently visas for foreign Catholic priests refused.  Catholics become object of extreme nationalists rallying around the ROC – along with Jews, Caucasians, homosexuals.  (Right) The Catholic church in Tver, defaced swastikas and star of David.

40  Is the emphasis on Russia and the ROC compatible with a multinational and confessional state?  Given the religious revival in the FSU, will the Russian government be able to manage a state with compact, non-Slavic and non-Orthodox Christian minorities?


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