Gazprom’s corporate anthem from Wired‘s Danger Room. Nuff’ said.
Salut! to Cynthia Hooper for the link.
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By Sean — 8 years ago
The Tower: A Songspiel is a new agitprop production from the fine people at Chto Delat. The film is the final part of a trilogy that includes Perestroika Songspiel: Victory over the Coup (2008) and Partisan Songspiel: A Belgrade Story (2009). The theme of this installment:
Filmed in April 2010, The Tower: A Songspiel is based on real documents of Russian social and political life and on an analysis of the conflict that has developed around the planned Okhta Center development in Petersburg, where the Gazprom corporation intends to house the headquarters of its locally-based subsidiaries in a 403-meter-high skyscraper designed by the UK-based architectural firm RMJM. The proposed skyscraper has provoked one of the fiercest confrontations UNESCO World Heritage Site, Gazprom has so far managed to secure all the necessary permissions and has practically begun the first phase of construction. (Although recent oblique signals from the Russian president may have thrown an insurmountable wrench into the works. between the authorities and society in recent Russian political history. Despite resistance on the part of various groups who believe that construction of the building would have a catastrophic impact on the appearance of the city, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Gazprom has so far managed to secure all the necessary permissions and has practically begun the first phase of construction. (Although recent oblique signals from the Russian president may have thrown an insurmountable wrench into the works.)
. . .
The film is structured as a confrontation between two worlds. On the one hand, we see the world of power, which is represented by a group of people working to create the new symbol: a PR manager (the head of the corporation’s branding project for the skyscraper), a local politician, the company’s security chief, a representative of the Orthodox Church, a gallery owner (who is in line to become director of the corporation’s contemporary art museum), and a fashionable artist. On the other hand, we see a chorus comprised of people from various social groups: the intelligentsia, workers, pensioners, unemployed office clerks, migrants, young women, a homeless boy, and a leftist radical.
For more check out Chto Delat.
Watch. Learn. Agitate. Revolt.Post Views: 149
By Sean — 9 years ago
A few weeks ago, Dmitry Medvedev announced that Russia’s top officials would reveal their incomes as part of an anti-corruption campaign. When I heard this I wondered whether that disclosure would include any of the money they’ve most likely picked up over the last eight years. After all, Medvedev was the chair of Gazprom’s board of directors, and one would suspect he was compensated heavily for his service. However, when he stated his finances for the presidential election, Dima was pretty much broke by American power player standards. Since 2007, Putin has been rumored to have a hefty $40 billion squirreled away in some unknown bank account.
The tandem released their incomes today, and one can only assume that while Medvedev and Putin might have earned $124,000 and $137,000 respectively, I seriously doubt this is the full number and certainly not full disclosure of their wealth.
Both men earn over 18 times Russia’s average wage of 230,000 rubles per year.
Medvedev has the larger apartment, a 368-square-meter Moscow residence that dwarves Putin’s 77-square-meter flat in Saint Petersburg, the declarations showed. But both men spend most of their time in their palatial state residences.
. . .
Putin also owns a garage, two classic cars, a trailer and a 1,500 square meter plot of land, his declaration said. He also has share holdings with a nominal value of 230,000 rubles.
Medvedev and his wife have bank deposits worth just under 3 million rubles and 4,700 square meters of land. His wife has two car parking spaces and a Volkswagen Golf.
It’s interesting that Putin, as Prime Minister, earns more than the President. But not by much.
Perhaps, what is more interesting is how Medvedev’s salary compares to that of other world leaders. Barack Obama tops the list with a paycheck of $400,000 a year. But this is chump change compared to the $4.2 million Obama earned from book sales in 2007. And now with his own full fledged cult of personality, Brand Obama is a potential bottomless well of profit.
Obama’s high is followed by Ireland’s Brian Cowen who rakes in roughly $380,000, France’s Nicholas Sarkozy’s $355,000, Angela Merkel’s $337,000; and Britain’s Gordon Brown who gets $294,000.
Poor (that is for reported income) Dima is in last place with an annual Presidential salary of $99,000.
As we all well known public office isn’t what pays. What really pays are the connections, greasy handshakes, and back room dealings. I suspect this is how the Clintons earned $109 million (which I also doubt is full disclosure) from 2000 to 2007. And once that government-corporate revolving door begins to spin after leaving office, look out. Pay-dirt. When they finally leave office, I’m sure Putin, Medvedev, Obama, Merkel, Sarkozy, Brown, and Cowen will be amply compensated for their time.Post Views: 251
By Sean — 2 years ago
Keith Gessen, journalist, translator, and writer. He’s one of the founders of N+1 Magazine and the translator of Kirill Medvedev’s It’s No Good: Poems / Essays /Actions. His most recent article is “Western Journalists in Ukraine” part of N+1’s special symposium on Ukraine.
There are a few texts mentioned in the interview. Here they are for those interested:
Post Views: 243
- Paul Starobin, “The Eternal Collapse of Russia.”
- Alexei Yurchak, Everything was Forever, Until it was No More: The Last Soviet Generation.
- David Foglesong, The American Mission and the ‘Evil Empire’: The Crusade for a ‘Free Russia’ since 1881.
- Perry Anderson, “Incommensurate Russia.”