Uppsala Forum Guest Lecture: Church, State and “Russia – My History”: Narrating National History, Legitimating Vladimir Putin’s Regime

  • Date: –17:00
  • Location: IRES Library, Gamla torget 3, 3rd floor
  • Lecturer: Ekaterina V. Klimenko, Polish Academy of Sciences
  • Organiser: Institute for Russian and Eurasian Studies (IRES) and Uppsala Forum
  • Contact person: Mattias Vesterlund
  • Föreläsning

Join via Zoom: https://uu-se.zoom.us/j/66538003782

Abstract:
This talk is dedicated to the chain of multimedia historical parks “Russia – My History.” Initially the project of the Russian Orthodox Church, “Russia – My History” received a vast administrative and financial support from the state, and, in less than 6 years, had grown to become the lieu of the (re)production of the “official” historical narrative of Vladimir Putin’s regime.

In the talk, I identify the origins of the project “Russia – My History.” I reconstruct the specific historical narrative (re)produced through it, and trace how this narrative changed over time. I focus on how the cyclical pattern is used in the parks to narrate the history of Russia and what role does the Russian Church play in this narrative. I demonstrate how Orthodox Christianity is employed in the parks to define the Russian nation, and show the ways in which the concept of martyrdom is used to answer the difficult questions of Russian history. I stress that the historical narrative (re)produced through “Russian – My History” chain is more statist than it is religious. I conclude by outlining how and why this narrative is beneficial for Vladimir Putin’s political regime.

Bio:
Ekaterina V. Klimenko received her Candidate of Sciences degree in Cultural Studies in 2010. Her research interests are ethnicity and nationalism, nation-building and national identity, history politics and political use of the past; her research focus is on contemporary Russia. Her latest publications are "Building the Nation, Legitimizing the State: Russia—My History and Memory of the Russian Revolutions in Contemporary Russia" In Nationalities Papers, and “Politically Useful Tragedies: The Soviet Atrocities in the Historical Park(s) "Russia —My History”” In Problems of Post-Communism. Her current research project, “Church, State and “Russia – My History”: Narrating National History, Legitimating Vladimir Putin’s Regime” is supported by the Polish National Science Centre.