Commemorating 1917 in Russia: Ambivalent State History Policy and the Church’s Conquest of the History Market

28 Jan 2019

(Europe-Asia Studies) Abstract: Russia’s historical policy towards the centenary of 1917 was composed of several parallel strategies: diminishing the meaning of the event to avoid the head of state and other government figures having to take a stance; outsourcing commemorative events, with no pre-planned grand design; developing a reconciliatory narrative of the ‘Whites’ and the ‘Reds’; and allowing other actors to promote a plurality of contradictory readings of the events. Yet the space left by the state’s refusal to commemorate 1917 has been taken over by the Church, which, as today’s most active engineer of Russia’s historical policy, promoted a very clear pro-Tsarist narrative best embodied by the multimedia historical park ‘Russia—my history’ (Rossiya—moya istoriya). 

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