Brigid O’Keeffe is an Associate Professor of History at Brooklyn College where she specializes in late imperial Russian and Soviet history. Her research interests include internationalism, Esperanto, selfhood, ethnicity, citizenship and everyday Soviet life. She’s the author of New Soviet Gypsies: Nationality, Performance, and Selfhood in the Early Soviet Union published by University of Toronto Press.
Etta James, “Tell Mama,” Mojo Presents Southern Soul, 2005.
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By Sean — 2 years ago
Guest: Rebecca Mitchell on Nietzsche’s Orphans: Music, Metaphysics and the Twilight of the Russian Empire.
By Sean — 10 years ago
Are these ads racist? Some think so. The use of Barack Obama visage has become a marketing hit in Russia, generating cries of racism. The charges relate to three ads featuring Obama. The Times of India reports:
Obama ice cream, anyone? Chocolate-vanilla ice cream is one of several Russian products being marketed using America’s first black president, even as critics call the ads racist.
Other ads featuring US President Barack Obama have promoted tanning salons and tooth-whitening services.
But the creator of one Obama-themed ad — for ice cream bars which have a chocolate-flavoured centre embedded in a layer of vanilla — insisted Friday that it was not racist and should be seen as a joke.
The ad for Duet ice cream bars features a smiling, cartoonish black man flashing a V-for-Victory sign in front of the white edifice of Washington’s Capitol building, along with the Russian slogan: “Everyone’s talking about it: dark inside white!”
Some blasted the ad as insensitive after it surfaced on English-language websites this week. “This is just racist,” said one visitor to the Ads of the World website, while another asked: “Is the ice cream as tasteless as the ad?”
Andrei Gubaidullin, who created the ad, said it was not racist and that Russia simply had a different attitude to race than Western countries.
“For Russia, this is not racist. It is fun and that’s it,” said Gubaidullin, creative director at Voskhod advertising agency, based in the Urals Mountains city of Yekaterinburg.
“We don’t consider teasing ethnic groups racist. It is just seen as a joke,” he said by telephone, adding that he personally liked Obama.Post Views: 726
By Sean — 10 years ago
The Name of Russia votes are in. The project, which started on June 12, allowed voters to decide who are the most important political, cultural, and historical figures. According to the Name of Russia website, 44,569,665 people voted. Here are the top ten Heroes of Russia:
1. Aleksandr Nevsky 2,011,766 votes.
The great Novgorodian prince who successfully repelled German and Swedish invaders in the 13th century. Could there be a better indicator of the Russian political unconscious? Once again Russia feels embattled by Western invaders and its people look for a defender of nationality (even before nationalism and Russia as a unified political entity existed) by going old school.
2. Aleksandr Pushkin 1,781,863 votes.
3. Fedor Dostoevskii 1,678,083 votes.
4. Peter I 1,511,367 votes
5. Vladimir Lenin 1,356,281 votes
6. Aleksandr Suvorov 1,271,345 votes
7. Catherine II 1,365,784 votes
8. Ivan IV 1,216,812 votes
9. Petr Stolypin 1,165,377 votes
10. Aleksandr II 1,066,896 votes
11. Dmitrii Mendeleev 1,044,897 votes
12. Iosif Stalin 1,039,488
Update: Well, the Name of Russia was not without controversy. Especially when it came to Comrade Stalin’s place on the list. Organizers, human rights activists and intellectuals freaked when Stalin quickly shot to the top spot when voting began. The dictator fell from his perch only after a campaign to boost Nicholas II, reports the Wall Street Journal. But Stalin, tenacious in memory as he was in life, still hung around in second place. That is until the Name of Russia organizers practiced some Stalinism of their own:
Stalin kept his high position, dismaying human-rights activists and delighting Russia’s enfeebled Communist party.
That changed Wednesday when organizers announced the 12 finalists, from an original list of 500. They said Stalin had fallen from second to twelfth place after they had “adjusted” his tally because of what they called “an information war” by malicious hackers. In mid-August, the contest’s site gave Stalin just over two million votes; Wednesday he had just over one million.
One of the organizers, Alexander Lyubimov, told reporters that hackers chose Stalin as a mascot to stir up trouble.
“It caused a reaction in the press, the intelligentsia sighed, and the international media said that the Russian people had chosen Stalin,” as their favorite figure, he said. “Obviously hackers liked this.”
With those “just over two million” votes would have put Stalin second or maybe first. In the end, Stalin still made the cut of the Twelve Heroes of Russia by coming in twelfth place.
As Comrade Stalin was famous for saying, “The people who cast the votes don’t decide an election, the people who count the votes do.” Indeed.Post Views: 758