「CULTURAL CREATION OF ‘RUSSIAN REALITY’」研究会開催（於：オックスフォード大学聖アントニー校）
CULTURAL CREATION OF ‘RUSSIAN REALITY’
It is widely accepted that our sense of ‘reality’ is constructed by cultural representation. Literature, film, painting, photography, and other cultural media attempt not only to reflect ‘existing’ reality but also to determine our modes of perception and behaviour. In Russia, this use of representation to create ‘reality’ seems to have been particularly powerful, with different means, logics, and effects in different historical conditions. These all deserve to be closely examined and located in their wider historical and cultural contexts.
Our conference will focus on two major episodes of ‘Russian reality’–the colonial situation in the Russian Empire, and socialist society. Russian intellectuals have long searched for appropriate representations of ‘self’ and ‘other’ between ‘West’ and ‘East.’ These representations always seemed precarious, because Russia was often identified with the ‘East’ by the ‘West,’ while, following the ‘West’s’ example, it invaded and attempted to ‘civilise’ the ‘East.’ Doubt, therefore, has been constantly cast on the correspondence of representation to reality.
In the Soviet Union, the discrepancy between representation and reality in every sphere of life became a chief concern of the regime, though it was never officially acknowledged as such. Declaring the ‘representation/reality’ discrepancy to be non-existent, the country’s officially recognised system of representation–Socialist Realism–so radically distorted the concept of ‘the real’ that it almost redefined ‘reality’ as its idealised representation. Consequently, the more the discrepancy was concealed, the more strongly it was felt.
Inviting leading international specialists in the field, this conference intends to interrogate the status of ‘reality’ in Russian and Soviet cultural practice. The subjects of our discussions range from the spaces of everyday life and public media to high art.
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