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- By Sean — 1 year ago
- By Sean — 13 years ago
Soviet dress is a rather understudied topic. But now we can breathe easier. According to the London Guardian, Professor Olga Gurova from the European University in St. Petersburg is working on a cultural history of underwear in the Soviet period. I have to say, I’ll read it. I find the topic absolutely fascinating. Here is how Gurova explains her work:
In the 1920s, Soviet magazines touted a “regime of cleanliness” for the proletariat. “Underwear,” explains Gurova, “was a compulsory part of that regime.” A goal was established: everyone should have at least two sets, and should change sets at least once every 7-10 days. Mass production was cranked up, underclothing the populace in officially healthy, comfortable, hygienic long johns, boxers, undershirts and bras. Gurova’s research shows that most of these items were “spacious”, and that “there was no big difference in design between male and female underclothes”.
Having pored over masses of documentation, Gurova infers that during the 20s “Soviet underwear was not about sex, it was about sport”. Sports outfits – T-shirts, shorts and sleeveless shirts – became the basic prototypes. Petticoats, seen as old-fashioned, faded from the scene, as did corsets. Underwear design quickly adapted to better serve Soviet women’s physical activities in the factory and the kitchen. In contrast to most European countries, reports Dr Gurova, “the Soviet revolution cancelled corsets and dressed women in bras more quickly”.
This is corroborated by Christina Kiaer’s Imagine No Possessions, which looks at, among other things, the intersection of commodity production, fashion design, and avant-garde art in 1920s Russia. Much of the avant-garde fashion design was geared to sports uniforms and wear. I just hope Gurova’s study will be available in the US, so I don’t have to track it down in Russia.
- By Sean — 11 years ago
Fifteen masked fell upon a camp of Russian anti-nuclear activists on Saturday near the city of Angarsk. According to a report of the incident on UK Indymedia:
The campers knew about the planned attack and had organized night guards, but they were much too few (1 to 3). The Nazis attacked the sleeping activists with iron rods, knives and air pressure guns. At least two campers became seriously injured: A person suffered a head-fracture, one became both legs broken. All tents were set in fire, several belongings were stolen.
He protested against the dumping of waste in his native land. For him, Mother Earth meant not simply a pagan seance of young budding Hitlerophiles. He tried to defend it from real contamination. He was more a pagan than the majority of scum who take enthusiastic leaps over bonfires “in praise of Perun” and “to the glory of Rus’.”
He fought for the future races. The sole race we all belong. This is the race of PEOPLE, where only part of which has white skin.
The eulogy went on to suggest that the Nazi attack was connected. “No one believes that after several attempts to disperse the camp that his murder is not connected with “law enforcement” organs.
Few reports have stated the fact that the assailants were Nazi youth. The Associated Press report noted that the environmentalists said that the attackers shouted “nationalists slogans,” yet police and Interior Ministry spokesman Valery Grigakin “rejected suggestions that extremist groups had masterminded the attack.” Otherwise always quick to note the specter of neo-Nazism in Russia, the RFE/Rl also didn’t point the finger at Nazi youth. RIA Novosti also made no mention of who the perpetrators were or their political affiliation. In fact one of the few English language news reports that highlighted the fact that activists said their attackers were skinheads was the Kremlin sponsored Russia Today.
Police say that they’ve detained four of the attackers and are investigating the incident as “hooliganism” and “intentional grievous bodily harm resulting in death.” Grigakin claims that the attackers explained that “They wanted to run amok and get some money out of the tourists and the people at the camp.” Perhaps if the activists were really tourists and not anti-fascist, environmentalist leftists protesting a Russian nuclear plant, the cops would be taking the incident more seriously.
But such is the lot for the often ignored Russian environmental movement. In 1999, environmental activist and former naval commander Grigory Pasko was sentenced to three years imprisonment by a military court in Vladivastok for articles about the waste generated by Russian nuclear submarines. The FSB arrested him in late 1997 for treason and espionage. Pasko spent 20 months in pre-trial detention, 10 of which were in solitary confinement. The charge of “high treason” was later changed to “the abuse of service commission” and released.
Although he was freed, according to Amnesty International, “The treatment of Grigory Pasko is part of an emergent pattern of persecution of environmental activists by the Russian authorities.”
And Pasko isn’t alone. In 2005, renowned Russian environmentalist Sergei Kharitonov sought political asylum in Finland. He became a target of the Russian authorities after he published a report with the Russian environmental NGO Bellona on the safety of the Sosnovyi Bor nuclear plant. Kharitonov worked in Sosnovyi Bor for 27 years until his firing in 2000.
And as recently as 3 July, police arrested a protester in Moscow when after donning a Putin mask and skies he attempted to ski up to Putin and give him a medal for destroying Sochi’s environment. Activists believe that the Sochi’s revamp for the 2012 Winter Olympics will act serve as an excuse to privatize its surrounding nature reserves and accelerate the region’s ecological decline. Activists have promised to fight the Kremlin over Sochi. One wonders if they too will get a taste of neo-Nazis wielding metal pipes and air pressure guns.
Special thanks to Duat X for the ZheZhe and Indymedia links.Tags: Russia|environmentalism|anti-fascism|youth politics|Putin|media|terrorism|neo-nazism|Russian nationalism