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Agnė Narušytė

Summary

The Cold War that shaped the societies of late modernity had penetrated everyday life with constant messages about the nuclear threat and demonstrations of military power. On the one hand, Soviet republics such as Lithuania were occupied by the enemy of Western democracies, and the nuclear threat would apply to their territory as well. On the other hand, many people secretly sided with the West. But information about the world behind the Iron Curtain was filtered ideologically. Images of Vietnam War and civil unrest in Western countries were broadcasted by the state controlled media as a counterpoint to the orderly and optimistic Soviet life idealised in chronicles and photographs. This positive image was shown to rest on the victory of the Great Patriotic War as well as October Revolution. Those events were represented by iconic monuments in the public space as well as by memorialization rituals taking place every half-year. Their visual documentation was an important part of Soviet culture. Photo journalists like Ilja Fišeris were assigned to record the parades of May the 1st, the 9th and November the 7th. Art photographers treated such images as a tribute to authorities exchanged for a measure of artistic freedom. But in the 1980s, the memorialization rituals, the monuments and other ideological signs became the focus of “rogue” art photographers and cinematographers: Artūras Barysas-Baras, Vytautas Balčytis, Vitas Luckus, Alfonsas Maldutis, Algirdas Šeškus, Remigijus Pačėsa and Gintaras Zinkevičius. Their ironic and reflective images worked as dislocating counter-memorials against the stale reconstructions of the past. Referring to theories of Svetlana Boym, Verónica Tello and Ariella Azoulay, the paper discusses the complicated relationships between the different memorializations of war, including the absence of the Holocaust in collective memory.

Open access

Andres Jõesaar

Abstract

This article explores the ways in which different external and internal factors (especially politics and economics) have encouraged or hindered the evolution of Estonian Public Broadcasting. This article argues that the Estonian government’s ‘idealisation’ of market forces that is supported by European Union (EU) media policy and driven by the common market ideology does not take into account the actual abilities of a small country’s media companies to provide a wide range of media services, and thereby limits the offerings of high-quality local content. The research methodology is based on an analysis of EU media policy documents, Estonian media legislation and broadcasters’ annual reports in the period from 1992 to 2014. The main finding of this article is that official Estonian media policy is largely shaped by the financial results of private media companies.

Open access

Riho Västrik

Abstract

This article aims to find out how Soviet Estonian documentaries constructed the national discourse in the 1960s, by focusing on the case of the 10-minute documentary Ruhnu (1965) by Andres Sööt. Ruhnu was the first Soviet Estonian documentary released after World War II that romanticised Estonian nationalism. In order to narrate the national ideals considered undesirable by the official ideology, the Soviet Estonian filmmakers often chose to portray characters embedded in the national consciousness as archetypal heroes from pre-Soviet times and the landscapes associated with them. In the desire for past times, national heroes and idealised landscapes were constructed and naturalised in a contemporary context. The article raises the question - what kind of heroes, landscapes and activities were used to construct the national identity and which elements of film language were used? The research method used, critical discourse analysis, allows us to analyse the archetypes created in the documentary and the archetypal landscapes used as a framework for the narrative.

Open access

Elisabeth Kovtiak

Bridge Flea Market Nostalgia, as defined by Boym (2007 , xvii), is “a longing for a home that no longer exists or has never existed […], a sentiment of loss and displacement, […] a romance with one’s own fantasy”. In other words, nostalgia could be described as a desire to come back to the past period of time or to some place, although the memory of this site or time is idealized and this place may not exist anymore or could never have existed. As nostalgia stands in-between the individual and collective past, it is considered as a type of collective memory ( Boym