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Imperial/Tsarist Space of Power in Russia, 1990s – 2010s

Dates:
  • Wed 24 May 2017 15.00 - 17.00
  Add to Calendar 2017-05-24 15:00 2017-05-24 17:00 Europe/Paris Imperial/Tsarist Space of Power in Russia, 1990s – 2010s

Abstract by Ekaterina Boltounova:

The paper discusses the situation that is rarely addressed in studies of political and historical memory. Rather than focusing on the process of the “invention of tradition” (Eric Hobsbawm, Terrance Ranger) and the designation of “sites of memory” (Pierre Nora) in post-Soviet Russia I intend to demonstrate what happens afterwards, when politicians and general public begin inhabiting the newly created spaces of important historical symbolism and fall under the influence of their recently created narratives. More specifically I plan to focus on ceremonial spaces related to tsars and emperors in Moscow and St. Petersburg: the Faceted Chamber of the Moscow Kremlin, St. Andrew Hall in the Great Kremlin Palace (Moscow), St. George Hall of the Winter Palace (The Hermitage in St. Petersburg), etc. Russian presidents Boris Yeltsin, Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev felt it necessary to fashion their own ceremonial quarters in former imperial palaces by using and adapting the symbolism of space representation of past authority – even though those historical precedents themselves were the products of very recent architectural restorations. Once reconstructed, Russia’s historical memory of political grandeur has appealed in different ways to the main centers of power. While the government (president) feels more comfortable with symbolism of imperial period, the Russian Orthodox Church (the Moscow Patriarchate) has claimed the representations of pre-Petrine Moscow Tsardom. Thus, the “invented traditions” acquire agency of their own.

Sala degli Anelli 1st Floor, V.Sa. DD/MM/YYYY
  Sala degli Anelli 1st Floor, V.Sa.

Abstract by Ekaterina Boltounova:

The paper discusses the situation that is rarely addressed in studies of political and historical memory. Rather than focusing on the process of the “invention of tradition” (Eric Hobsbawm, Terrance Ranger) and the designation of “sites of memory” (Pierre Nora) in post-Soviet Russia I intend to demonstrate what happens afterwards, when politicians and general public begin inhabiting the newly created spaces of important historical symbolism and fall under the influence of their recently created narratives. More specifically I plan to focus on ceremonial spaces related to tsars and emperors in Moscow and St. Petersburg: the Faceted Chamber of the Moscow Kremlin, St. Andrew Hall in the Great Kremlin Palace (Moscow), St. George Hall of the Winter Palace (The Hermitage in St. Petersburg), etc. Russian presidents Boris Yeltsin, Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev felt it necessary to fashion their own ceremonial quarters in former imperial palaces by using and adapting the symbolism of space representation of past authority – even though those historical precedents themselves were the products of very recent architectural restorations. Once reconstructed, Russia’s historical memory of political grandeur has appealed in different ways to the main centers of power. While the government (president) feels more comfortable with symbolism of imperial period, the Russian Orthodox Church (the Moscow Patriarchate) has claimed the representations of pre-Petrine Moscow Tsardom. Thus, the “invented traditions” acquire agency of their own.


Location:
Sala degli Anelli 1st Floor, V.Sa.

Affiliation:
Department of History and Civilization

Type:
Lecture

Organiser:
Prof. Alexander Etkind (European University Institute)

Contact:
Fabrizio Borchi (EUI - Department of History and Civilization) - Send a mail

Speaker:
Ekaterina Boltunova (Higher School of Economics, Moscow)
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