In its new concern, Glänta companions with Colta.ru, the web cultural journal shut down by the Russian state in March 2022. Along with Maria Stepanova, Colta.ru’s founder and editor-in-chief, Glänta has gathered a choice of items printed within the journal between 2010 and 2022. Every article is contextualized with a timeline displaying the rising stress on mental freedom within the nation.
The articles, writes Stepanova, ‘kind the historical past of a illness, from the primary, virtually imperceptible signs to the second whenever you notice with horror and despair that every part is already over.’ The articles mirror the fixed work of imagining what’s subsequent. When Colta turns into Glänta, a historical past of the long run takes form.
In 2011, Stanislav Belkovsky wrote in regards to the that means and implications of Putin’s presidential rerun, addressing each the fears of the liberal public in addition to Putin’s plans for his subsequent time period. Whereas the Russian chief anticipated a brand new period of prosperity, liberal commentators feared a political useless finish.
However Belkovsky rejected the concept that Putin’s re-election would mark a turning level. ‘Immediately, there could be no discuss of a “prelude to stagnation”. It is because stagnation started in our nation 12 years in the past – in 2000, when Vladimir Putin first got here to energy.’
Belkovsky thought-about a Brezhnevist relapse unlikely. As an alternative, he predicted a brand new perestroika. Putin, he wrote, would use his time period in workplace to protect the established order, proceed with privatization and keep the excessive value of fuel and oil.
However Ukraine had different concepts.
9 months after Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, Colta requested intellectuals what had modified. Their opinions had been largely unanimous. As Tatiana Tjernigovskaja put it: ‘2014 modified civilization. Humanity has gone mad.’
Olga Sedakova recognized one other warfare, one invisible from the skin. When scope for rational and humane politics disappears, conflicts are now not resolved by means of dialogue or argument. As an alternative, a tear in society varieties, one so deep that communication with the opposite facet is inconceivable.
Struggle and reminiscence
The cult of victory has been rooted within the Russian state reminiscence for the reason that early levels of the Soviet Union. In a 2018 essay on Russian navy philosophy, Sergey Lebedev described how the victory cult is nourished by means of the reminiscence of unnamed troopers. Whereas the canine tags worn by American and British troopers in WWII had been a think about dignifying their attainable deaths, Russian troopers remained nameless after they fell.
The unnamed troopers couldn’t be given gravestones however are remembered by means of monuments and plaques. Particular person trauma is disguised in triumph, Lebedev writes: ‘The tragic sacrifice of the folks is once more made sacred – however with out implying that the reminiscence of every fallen particular person is effective.’
A future now?
On the finish of 2022, Colta once more requested intellectuals to look forward. The outcome was 5 texts that resonate with concern, anger and frustration at dwelling in uncertainty.
Who will the long run belong to: those that tailored to the ideology of warfare or those that didn’t? ‘After we speak about the way forward for Russia,’ writes Olga Romanova, ‘we imply ourselves in it. Even when Russia is given a second probability, that future might be a shared one, wherein we might be a minority, and a tragic minority at that.’
The ultimate phrase, nevertheless, goes to Stepanova herself:
‘The evil that has been completed have to be repaired, the place from which that evil comes should as soon as once more be made match for people; the language with which it speaks should change. The stigma, the burning wound of collective complicity could but be a place to begin, the start of a path from this blind “we” to a society of seeing “I”s. And this could solely be achieved from inside.’