By Lena Jonson
The Pussy rebel protest, and the following heavy passed remedy of the protestors, grabbed the headlines, yet this used to be now not an remoted example of artwork being extensively serious of the regime. As this e-book, in keeping with large unique examine, indicates, there was progressively rising over fresh a long time an important counter-culture within the paintings global which satirises and ridicules the regime and the values it represents, whilst affirming, via paintings, substitute values. The booklet strains the improvement of paintings and protest in fresh many years, discusses how artwork of this sort engages in political and social protest, and offers many illustrations as examples of paintings as protest. The publication concludes by way of discussing how vital artwork has been in facilitating new social values and in prompting political protests.
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Additional resources for Art and Protest in Putin's Russia
10 Sots-Art derived its name from the word ‘Socialist’ and American Pop Art, but where Pop Art aimed its irony at a society of mass consumption, Sots-Art addressed a Soviet society of mass ideology. Also religious symbols and signs were used to criticize Soviet ideology. Mikhail Roshal-Fedorov’s ‘Let us over-fulfil the plan for coal’ (1972) is one example (see Chapter 4). Had this piece of art been shown in public at that time, it would probably have caused marginal reaction for its use of religious symbolism.
Lev Gudkov (2009: 16), director of the Levada Centre, described this as a logical reaction of people who feel that ‘nothing can be changed’. Several scholars described Russia’s political system as characterized by fragmentation and atomization, having in mind the absence not only of a civil society but also of a social fabric between people and bonds of solidarity. Against this background, it is easy to understand how large groups of the population became easy targets for political manipulation from above.
Four aspects of the identity discourse in the Putin consensus stand out. State Nationalism: A stronger emphasis on the central role of the state gave a top-down perspective, where the interests of the population became subordinated to those of the state. This also implied identification with Russia as a great power, although the interpretation of what this meant in practice and how such status was to be regained varied. The state nationalist emphasis underlined continuity in the Russian statebuilding process and opened the door for the pragmatic selection of historical leaders of whom to be proud, regardless of whether they were from tsarist or Soviet times.
Art and Protest in Putin's Russia by Lena Jonson