Timofeev M. Yu. Monumental image of the Motherland in the politics of memory in contemporary Russia (.pdf)


The paper analyzes how the monumental image of the Motherland was used in the symbolic politics and politics of memory in the post-Soviet Russia. The visual image of the Mother Russia created at the end of the 19th century lost its relevance in the Soviet Russia after 1917. At the beginning of the Great Patriotic War, the iconic versions of the monumental image of the Motherland, that later laid the basis for memorial practices, had emergedin the USSR. Practically without changes, they are present in contemporary Russian politics of memory linked to the Great Patriotic War and local wars. However, the tendency to transform the explanation of the image, to resemiotize and resymbolize it can be seen. Attempts to use the original image in the Soviet monumental art were rare. Stereotypical images of a grieving mother and a mother calling for heroism prevailed in the military memorial discourse. Recently, semantics of some memorials has changed. New ways of using those memorials in the politics of memory and in other spheres lead to their resemiotization. On the one hand, the image of the Motherland continues to be used in the military discourse. On the other hand, projects of its use in the symbolic politics outside that discourse attract attention. However, possibilities of the use of the Motherland image as a unique unifying symbol of Mother Russia are not big at present.


Key words: state politics of memory, historical politics, commemorative space, contemporary Russia, the Motherland, semiotics.


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