Ustyugova V. V. Cultural leisure during the revolution: Perm, 1917 (.pdf)


Cultural leisure in provincial Perm in 1917 is regarded as a reflection of the processes of modernity. Due to the emergence of the category of free time in the modernization discourse, temporal algorithms for citizens’ life converged, class differences in the demand for entertainment were erased, modern leisure practices appeared, and commercially successful forms of mass culture developed. Representation of the present in daily newspapers, novels, cinema, variety theaters, exhibitions, public lectures, etc., were accompanied by the growing needs of urban masses. After February, the heterogeneous audience poured into the theaters, which had to correct their repertoire by adding comedies, tabloid authors, and political plays. At the same time, the intelligentsia entered the revolution and took part in institutionalizing new forms of cultural life. In 1917, the culture experienced various transformations, reflecting the polarization of the society. The demands of the discerning public were related with the development of modern art, theatrical and dance culture, new sports, club forms of leisure, etc. In 1917, the province lived in different temporaries: there were football matches in the summer garden and sailing races on the Kama and, at the same time, the movies “Grishka Rasputin” and “The Shame of the House of the Romanovs” were shown in the cinema. Such movies about the “dark forces” of tsarism fulfilled the requirements of “people's will”, subverting the old and erecting new heroes. Decadent cinematography, anticipating the death of the old foundations of life, portrayed the salon world and the realm of dreams and nostalgia. The city culture appeared in a situation of turbulence in 1917. Modern art and new types of urban leisure played the role of transition, but the inertial scenario was destroyed under the pressure of the archaizing masses.


Key words: the Russian Revolution of 1917, modernity, urbanization, leisure, mass culture, cinematography.


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