The world is fed up with “liberal values“. The Russian cinema star Sergey Besrukov is convinced of that. In his view, Russia’s military operation in Ukraine and the Western sanctions against his country can help Russian culture finally go its own way again – with conservative values, patriotism and the orthodox faith.
“We need to use (Russia’s) isolation to reconnect with our traditions“, says Bezrukov, one of Russia’s most popular artists, in an interview with AFP. Instead of looking up to Hollywood, Russia should build its own culture. He advocates purging Russian culture of Western influence.
“We’ve lived in the Marvel Universe for 30 years“says the 48-year-old actor and director, referring to the US film industry. “It’s time to create our own“demands Bezrukov at Moscow’s Gubernsky Theater, where he is artistic director.
Bezrukov wants to “restore trust in Russia”
“It is impossible to go back to the times of the USSR, but we can try to restore confidence in Russia“, he adds. The European Union recently imposed sanctions on Bezrukov for his support of Russia’s Ukraine offensive.
In the past, Kremlin boss Vladimir Putin has always presented himself as the guardian of traditional values such as marriage between man and woman and religion, and has emphasized that Western liberal values have become obsolete. Since Moscow’s offensive in Ukraine began, the authorities have redoubled their efforts to break with Western values - and many artists say art should play the leading role.
Conservative Revolution of Russia
“Russia stands on the brink of a conservative revolution“says the theater producer and director Eduard Boyakov, who campaigned for the “holy war” of Russia in Ukraine, as he calls it.
After the start of the offensive in Ukraine at the end of February, numerous artists left Russia, including director Kirill Serebrennikov and actress Shulpan Khamatova. Those still in the country are under increasing pressure to support the intervention in Ukraine. Many opponents of the Kremlin can no longer perform in Russia.
Russian artist calls for ‘white list of patriotic artists’
“More than a hundred music performances have been canceled since February“, says Alexei Kozin, director of Navigator Records, a major Russian music label specializing in rock. An unofficial one “blacklist“ currently consists of around 40 names, including Yuriy Shevchuk, a legendary rock musician who, during a concert in May, accused the Kremlin of targeting young Russians and Ukrainians “kill“.
At the end of July demanded the chairman of the pro-Kremlin party “Fair Russia“Sergei Mironov, a “white list of patriotic artists“to explain to the public “who is who in Russian art today“,.
In June, the Moscow authorities announced leadership changes in three of the capital’s top theaters. The Gogol Center, developed by Serebrennikov into a bastion of artistic freedom, was closed. There are also cancellations of exhibitions.
“Moment of Truth”
“In the midst of the war in Ukraine, a cultural revolution is taking place in Russia“,, warns the exiled editor-in-chief of the magazine “theater“Marina Davidova, in social networks.
“After 30 years of pro-Western liberalism, a conservative revolution is underway in Russia“enthuses Olga Andreeva from the Russian conservative weekly “Expert“. “This is the moment of truth on Russia’s path in the eternal struggle between Westerners and Slavophiles“she says.
Putin sets the tone: in March he called for “self-cleaning“ of society and said the Russians would “rabble and traitors“ spit out, who earned their money in Russia but preferred to live western style.
As a symbol of this about-face, the new 100 ruble note has been adorned with the monument to the unknown soldier since the end of June. Previously, the Greek god of arts Apollo was depicted there on the pediment of the Bolshoi Theatre. (AFP)