The Unstable Past: Historical Memory as a Political Tool in the Electronic Media of Contemporary Russia
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The Unstable Past: Historical Memory as a Political Tool in the Electronic Media of Contemporary Russia
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Veronika Sharova 
Affiliation: Institute of Philosophy RAS
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow

The so-called “memory wars” have been the subject of close attention for several years, and sometimes even fierce debate among researchers — experts in the field of political science, historical science, communication theory, etc., and not by accident: events of the past (one can make a reservation: of what is meant by the past) “fall over” into the present, forming various patterns of sociocultural, ethnocultural, political identities in the present, and thereby, to a certain extent, affecting the future. Are these processes directed and controlled — or, conversely, are they spontaneous? How can readers and viewers relate facts and interpretations of historical plots, concerning the fact that these tasks can be of considerable difficulty even for professional historians? And to what extent ways of dealing with history become instruments in the political space of modern Russia? Obviously, these questions have been asked more than once on various media platforms and still do not lose relevance. The article focuses on the analysis of a number of the most characteristic practices of production, reproduction and interpretation of historical subjects in Russian mass media: in Internet versions of so-called “traditional” media, as well as in “new media” (zines, imageboards, etc.). We proceed from the fact that the information environment sets specific parameters for the treatment of history: its events in digital space not only have “technical reproducibility”, but also the speed of this reproducibility is very high; history is being re-writed no longer in a figurative, but in a literal sense, in real time and not by members of the expert community (whatever this community is). Information receives a visual dimension that is significant for the audience; one of the expressive manifestations of this is the culture of memes. Thus, historical memory is once again becoming a battleground for political conflict: in this case, between agents of traditional media and new actors in the digital space.

history, memory, politics of memory, communication, media, media, digital space
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