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  • 03

    Post-Soviet Estrada and Representations of Non-Heteronormative Sexualities

    Advanced seminar arranged by the Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES), Södertörn University.

    Speakers: Galina Miazhevich and Maria Brock, Cardiff University (UK).

    Discussant: Liudmila Voronova, Södertörn University.

    Chair: Anne Kaun, Södertörn University.

    This presentation is based on an ongoing 2-year AHRC funded project (2018-2020) examining the range of available discourses on non-heteronormative sexuality (NHS) in post-Soviet Russia (1999-2019). Within Putin's conservative nation-building agenda, the Russian mediascape excludes or marginalises alternative sexualities' voices from official discourse. However, certain manifestations of NHS infiltrate public space through convergent traditional and new media (Jenkins, 2006) and the performativity of NHS in popular culture (Estrada, internet, memes, etc.). There are three main research questions: How is NHS constructed in post-Soviet Russia? What is the role of mainstream and alternative media in this process? How have discursive representations of NHS in Russia evolved over time? The project accounts for discursive representations at three different levels (grassroots, semi-official and state media). It employs a Laclauan model of hegemony (1985) adapted for the post-Soviet context, and an interpretative framework by Barbero (1992) on how media texts relate to social and cultural practices.

    This presentation will focus on the NHS representations in Russian popular music. The amalgamation of the legacy of Soviet Estrada (where alterity and NHS were more readily tolerated e.g. Valery Leontiev’s persona) with recent regional and the global music trends produces complex NHS representations. The presentation will provide an analysis of reoccurring images, voices, tropes in the relevant recent music videos (such as Phillip Kirkorov’s ‘Tsvet nastroeniya sinii’ and his collaboration with Nikolay Baskov in ‘Ibiza’). The presentation will demonstrate how the meanings related to NHS in Russian popular music challenge,subverting and attenuates mainstream media discourse.

    Time and place

    When: 03/06/19 at 13:00-14:30

    What: Higher seminar

    Where: Room MA796, CBEES, Södertörn University.

    Organiser: The Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES), Södertörn University.

    Event language: English