“Do you dare to go to the square?” The legacy of Soviet dissidents in Russian public protests of the 2000s and 2010s
This paper analyzes the mechanisms of creating a symbolic connection between several generations of protesters in the late USSR and in Putin’s Russia. Based on an analysis of the periodical press, data on human-rights violations during public protests, and published sources on the history of Soviet dissidents, the article traces how and for what purposes protesters in the 2000s and 2010s used the symbolic and practical legacy of Soviet dissidents, what additional meanings of protest were actualized with these linkages, and how references to specific spaces of protest actions transformed the content and form of public protests. Using Charles Tilly’s concept of “repertoires of contention,” I argue that references to the dissidents’ legacy were not limited to the discursive level of repeating slogans but included various public actions that memorialized and/or reconsidered the Soviet dissidents’ tradition of contesting the state monopoly over public space.
Citizen Media and Public Spaces presents a pioneering exploration of citizen media as a highly interdisciplinary domain that raises vital political, social and ethical issues relating to conceptions of citizenship and state boundaries, the construction of publics and social imaginaries, processes of co-optation and reverse co-optation, power and resistance, the ethics of witnessing and solidarity, and novel responses to the democratic deficit. Framed by a substantial introduction by the editors, the twelve contributions to the volume interrogate the concept of citizen media theoretically and empirically, and offer detailed case studies that extend from the UK to Russia and Bulgaria and from China to Denmark and the liminal spaces within which a growing number of refugees now live. A rich new domain of scholarship and practice emerges out of the studies presented. Citizen media is shown to embrace both physical and digital interventions in public space, as well as the sets of values and agendas that influence and drive the practices and discourses through which individuals and collectives position themselves within and in relation to society and participate in the creation of diverse publics.
This book will be of interest to students and researchers in media and communication studies, particularly those studying citizen media, media and society, journalism and society, and political communication.
The photo album "Perm-Duisburg: public spaces of cities in the 50-60s of the XX century" is the second joint publishing project оf the state archive of the Perm region and the Archive of the twin citу of Perm Duisburg (Germany). Archive images show everyday life of Perm and Duisburg from the beginning of the 50s to the end of the 60s.
Today’s Russia is a hostile environment for genuine political activity, and especially for movements that aim at changing the current power structure. This is due to the factually limited manoeuvre space of oppositional actors who face obstacles in the form of repression, surveillance and restricted access to the public sphere. Moreover, society is largely apolitical, with political activity often considered futile, immoral, or dangerous. In this profile, we portray the electoral campaign of the opposition politician and anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny, who built a popular movement around his bid to participate in the 2018 presidential elections. Although the campaign failed to build up sufficient pressure for Navalny to be granted access to the elections, and despite the strong hierarchy inside his campaign, we argue that it contributed to the politicization of parts of the younger generation in the country’s provinces – which may have greater long-term effects than any concrete projects envisioned or controlled by the campaign’s strategists.
Urban Studies currently apply the concept of creativity to the whole cities but not to the particular sites or practices within. We apply the micro-perspective to discover how the creative practices and actions such as flash mobs, performances, etc. change urban conventions and urban scenarios. Facilitating the physical contacts and communication among urban citizens, these events empower urbanites with communicative skills, decrease the alienation through bodily contacts and emotional reactions. Involving passersby into spontaneous improvisations, these open-ended actions turn them into creators of new urban practices, scenarios, and meanings. So, these actions may be considered as the mechanisms for producing and training social skills. Thus creativity becomes a general urban skill and not the attribute of some particular groups or classes. These ephemeral urban events are prolonged through their medialization (photo, video, internet, etc.). Being medialized, they keep affecting the viewers fostering emotional reactions and becoming the part of urban imagionary.
This article explores the relationship between reformatting of Bishkek’s central square “from above” and mosaics of meanings, claims, and practices produced by different social actors “from below” in response to the ongoing transformation of this space. Drawing on narratives of long-term Bishkek residents and recent internal migrants to the city, we investigate commonalities and divergences in their perception of Ala-Too’s changing image. It is shown why the square, despite its planned multifunctionality, does not fulfill the needs of various segments of the city population. We also analyze political meanings of the “emptiness” of the square and the ambivalent public reaction to the ways it is being “filled.” The square becomes a spatial mirror of society—a society that remains in constant flux, searching for social stability and for unifying national symbols, heroes, and slogans.