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Scholars predicted that official Russian commemorations of the centenary of the 1917 revolutions would prioritise ‘reconciliation and accord’ between pro- and anti-communists. Such a frame might help construct a new post-Soviet Russian identity. Yet, in 2017, state-affiliated political and media actors gave accounts that contrasted with their previous narratives and with each other. Domestic state-aligned media were unprecedentedly negative about the revolutions’ events and enduring legacies; whilst Russia’s international broadcaster, RT, emphasised the revolution's positive international legacies. We explain this paradox by arguing that regimes of commemoration are directly related to political systems: in neo-authoritarian regimes such as contemporary Russia, history is not used primarily for nation-building, but to build legitimacy for the ruling regime. Referencing similar practices in other neo-authoritarian regimes, we show how state-affiliated actors selectively co-opt interpretations of historical events that circulate in the global media ecology, to ‘arrest’ the ‘memory of the multitude’. Simultaneously, they reinforce core messages that legitimise the existing government.
|Journal||European Journal of Cultural Studies|
|Early online date||14 Oct 2019|
|Publication status||Published - 2019|
- memory of the multitude
- media commemoration
- neo-authoritarian legitimacy
- Russia Today (RT)
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- 1 Finished
Reframing Russia for the Global Mediasphere: From Cold War to 'Information War'?
Hutchings, S. & Tolz-Zilitinkevic, V.
1/02/17 → 31/08/20