2024-05-20 12:42:33
Dear Mum, személyes

I am participating in the alternative cultures workshop in St. Petersburg, organized by OSI/OSA and the McMaster University on -no surprise here- alternative cultures in the Samizdat tradition. A wonderful collection of people from the Central and Eastern European region. The hotel is funny, it is an old summer retreat for Kronstadt shipyard workers, but the food is good and the cigarette is cheaper than a cup of coffee. More on the seminar later, till then see the pictures…

Wednesday, August 15

1. Dzmitri Korenko: Ideology of Authoritarian Culture and Search for Alternative Political Communication (case of Belarus)

This presentation will provide an overview of major strategies of visualization and articulation of ideological meanings that support and perpetuate authoritarian type of culture in Belarus over the recent years. More specifically, the ideas of choice, nationhood, statehood and their representations in the city space as well as in theoretical models will be critically assessed in the attempt to find alternative – also with regard to the existent nationalist – strategies of effective deconstruction of authoritarian type of thinking and social mobilization. The presentation will end with reflections regarding the concepts of alternativity within a particular cultural framework as well as giving certain idea over concept of alternative critical cultural representations.

2. Ekaterina Taratuta: Mass Elitism Reloaded: Ways and Means of Social Alternatives

The presentation focuses on socially legitimated ways of alternative construction and specific outlines of the alternative in the age of the Internet.

3. Gorkem Akgoz: Contesting Modernities: History, Historiography and
the Novel in Twentieth Century Turkey

Thursday, August 16

4. Anna Eremeva: Alternative Culture as a Space for Unofficial Communication under Socialism (Presentation of innovative course)

Course aims to understand the role of alternative culture in the formation of mass consciousness under socialism; to explore the role of transnational publishing and broadcasting projects in creating a new common discursive sphere of communication between East and West. This course is interdisciplinary in its approach, interweaving the theories and practice employed by different social sciences and bringing together the results of scholarly research. It is also innovative in its heavy reliance on the examination of primary documents previously unknown to the Russian academic milieu a variety of archival resources primarily samizdat and tamizdat materials.

5. Balazs Bodo: Illegal Libraries, Underground Archivists: the Secret Life of Intellectual properties

Thousands and thousands of films, texts, and music tracks are collected in and distributed through some underground digital libraries, where committed individuals digitize, archive, store these materials. This time they are not hiding from political prosecution but try to get away from the watchful eyes of private copyright holders whose works they use without authorization. If we look closer we find that illegal these archives are, They play a crucial role in local and global cultural economies. Addressing direct or indirect market failures they make culture accessible where markets and public institutions systematically fail. In Anglo-American terms they are copyright criminals, but maybe we can place these individuals and communities into a Samizdat tradition.

6. Ksenia Poluektova: The Semiotics of Tourist/Traveller in Contemporary Critical Theory/Cultural Studies

Friday, August 17

7. Nadezhda Orlova: The Heritage of Russian Theologians in Emigration in Light of the Cultural Traditions of XXth Century

The specific feature of the 20th century theological development can be the interference and cooperation that are of great importance in the light of global cultural and historical transformations. It seems to be important to investigate the heritage of the Russian theological school which is now of great demand against the background of the ultraliberal modern society. Thus, the following research trends and specific tasks of studying the problems can be formulated:
– complex examination of the motives of the Emigration of Russian intelligentsia in the past and nowadays;
– investigation of the problems of adaptation to different foreign cultures, assimilation with these cultures and confrontation to the full assimilation;
– the analysis of the religious aspects of social and cultural processes of Russian Emigration;
analytical survey of the activities of religious cultural societies, organizations, unions and institutes, which Russian theological emigrants participated in;
– the description of the heritage of the Russian theology Abroad; the estimate of its contribution to the world cultural process.

8. Elena Golovneva: The Phenomenon “Sacral Place” as a Sample of Existing of Alternative Culture: the Case of Non-Traditional Religious Groups in Western Siberia

The paper aims at discussing the contemporary manifestation of alternative culture, focusing on the case-study of non-traditional religious groups in Western Siberia. First of all I will outline a historical background of the religious groups in the above-mentioned area, then I will illustrate the values of those groups today and eventually I will investigate the main issues referring to the emergence of alternative beliefs and lifestyles in the modern epoch.
Within the limits of the given report, I have an opportunity to present short documentary film the “Crossroads” which has been removed in Okunevo in 2004-2006. The protagonist of film participates in ceremonies of various religious communities and looks for his own way in life. His style of life is considered as an attempt to challenge mainstream culture.

9. Anna Piotrowska: Gypsy Music in 19th and 20th Mainstream Musical Culture

The purpose of this article is to discuss the role of Gypsy music in the mainstream European music of the – mainly – 19th and 20th century. The growing interest in Gypsy studies triggered off in the Romantic period a wave of compositions inspired by so called Gypsy idiom. In my presentation I will argue that this type of music – perceived as new, exotic and thus fulfilling the needs of listeners – was, predominantly exploited by a few composers for whom it presented the opportunity of an alternative source of musical material.

Monday, August 20

10. Hajrudin Hromadzic: Consuming Practices of Media Technologies in Contemporary Society

In my presentation I am planning to discus a various number of social, economic and cultural issues related to the role and influence of media technologies in modern global society. My interest will be focus on dichotomy citizenship/consumerism, related to the differences between media public sphere and media market system, or media users as consumers (market relations) on the one side and citizens (public and political communication), on the other. It directly reflects toward the questions about the concept of media audience, or, in a terminology by Ian Ang, media audience-as-market and media audience-as-public. Some of the main parallel topics in my presentation are: the role of media producers and market advertisement agencies; the growing media commercialization, tabloidisation, and the concept of infotainment; domestic media technologies within domestic family space; commodification and privatization of everyday life in the context of contemporary media technologies.

11. Heidi Johansson: Svennar+Blatter = Gringo?

In august 2004 the Swedish media scene was provided with a vitalising injection through the newly created magazine gringo. the articles being written in a kind of multiethnic youth slang,  and traditional swedishness attacked with a twinkle in the eye, the magazine greatly divided public opinion into those who hated and those who loved. considering gringo’s casual jargon of “svennar” (native swedes) and “blattar” (people with an immigrant background), one can ask if the project ever was one of unification  ? or is gringo the mouthpiece for a new hybrid culture in the making?
12. Aleksandra Kleschina: Some Aspects of Introducing Intercultural Communication Studies in the Contemporary Russian University
13. Camelia Craciun: Minorities’ (Ethnic) Cultures as Alternative Culture
14. Gyorgy Tury: The (Cultural) Impact of New Capitalism on the ECE Region (with special emphasis on Hungary)

In my short presentation I will intend to describe, analyze and critically interpret the (cultural)impact(s) of new capitalism on the East-Central European region with a special emphasis on my country Hungary. Relying on the relevant work concerning the working and nature of new capitalism/new imperialism/Empire of Hardt and Negri, David Harvey and outstanding Hungarian sociologist Erzsébet Szalai, I will attempt to point out the most important features that are unique to this region of the world.

Tuesday, August 21

15. Nina Sosna: Communicative Images: the Shift in the Media Epoch

Under the circumstances of the globalization with its high speeds and extremely developed technologies (uppermost visual ones) which manipulate the masses of people opinions erasing their beliefs, a question of the alternative approach that could point out the possibilities of the other modes of existence, is of a great importance. A specialized version of the media and/or communication theory focused on the role of images could be considered as the alternative project, which relates to the new subjects unities and new interactions, where the new qualities and tasks, new versions of history and its frontiers, the example status could be discussed. An approach of that kind is to be worked out at the road junction of anthropology, ontology, aesthetics, using the methods, elaborated in phenomenology, poststructuralism and art theory.

16. Helena Popovic: Audience Reception of Media Entertainment Programmes: Satirical Elements in Television Genres as a Tool of Social Critique

I will focus on television media platform, as the most influential and the most frequently used type of media, more specific I will focus on entertainment output – a textual form which has been granted the deserved attention within the framework of cultural studies.
Content that serve the “light” function of amusement of the audiences is of immense political importance, as such programming have an implicit power in the construction and deconstruction of stereotypes, and the maintenance and change of power and dominance in society. Entertainment genres with satirical elements have, at least, two aims: one is pure entertainment, and the other is some form of social critique. The reception of this type of content varies according to audience niches. Thus, the question is: is this type of social critique effective, or is it just creating a specific niche of media consumers?

17. Natalia Melekhova: Reflection of Privacy in Television Discourse

The purpose of the research is to analyze concept “privacy” in contemporary television (taking into account international, national and regional broadcasting). In this theme I investigate current television tendencies:
– Influence of media on the message,
– Washing out of traditional boundaries between public and private,
– Expanding the sphere of private on TV (reality-shows, daytime talk shows, trash-news, announces, documental films, experiment-shows),
– Problem of truth on TV,
– Social responsibility of media to audience.
The research is not only of descriptive but also of generalizing nature. Due to current trends in international media such as globalization, conglomeration, convergence, the results of the research can be applied both to Russian and to TV of other countries.
The practical value of the research is in predicting the future ways of mass media development, by using the conclusions drawn in the exploration.

18. Svetlana Polischuk: Art Photography in Belarus: In Search of History and Identity

I’ll give a general overview of such a Phenomenon as art (or creative) photography in Belarus. I’ll talk about its development and present state and I’ll concentrate mostly on the questions of production of art, functioning of art institutions, problems of achieving social status by artists, and forming of canon in the medium’s history.

Wednesday, August 22

Thursday, August 23

19. Yuriy Vulkovsky: The Independent Art-sector in Bulgaria

I will try to describe the current situation of theindependent art sector in Bulgaria, with its variety of approaches, organizational structures, challenges and achievements. It should be “a map” of a land which is not very well explored but where hundreds of new plants and animals could be found, and some treasures, may be. In addition I will try to depict the context and the perspectives of development of this sector.
I choose this general presentation, because I am still wondering about the concrete topic of my research in the framework of the program. It could be concentrated more on cultural life in the periphery, or, it could address the youth subcultures art initiatives, also other ways are possible.

20. Svetlana Chashchina: Reflections on “Globalization” and “Alternativeness” in the Development of Art and Design of the Second Half of XX Century

The scientific goals of this course is to synthesize the “old” and “new” knowledge through the approving of “old material” by new theory on the one hand, and the approving of new theories by the material from the history of art and design of the second half of XX century. I think in the both cases we could see many interesting new moments and draw some new conclusions. I’d like to use new approaches, without “blind copying”, but with intensive study of opportunities if this approaches against my “native” and favorite material.
I’d like to present proposed Course Schedule and topics,(including Student Background, Student Assessment), and to outline the main problems, which I see in the contemporary situation in the higher school (on my example).

21. Ksenia Golovko: Philosophical and Anthropological Aspects of Creative Subject of Postmodernism

The purpose of the research is an attempt to understand consumption as a phenomenon of communication which is, as well, connected to the figure of the author as an initiator of these processes in culture. Modern philosophy demonstrates the urgency of disclosing the mechanism of consumption. Being one of the basic instruments of communication this process includes all the members of it and initiates the problem of society’s self-consumption. The category of “consumption”, thus, allots the concept of “subject” with other confines. Consumption becomes the sphere where the question of subject is relevant.
The basic issue of research: How categories of consumption and communication work within the space of culture, in particular at the level of interaction between the author, the text and the reader?

22. Alisa Prudnikova: Reality of Moscow the Great and Decentralization of a Cultural Authority: the View from the Europe-Asia Border

The presentation focuses on the author’s 5-years experience of developing Intercultural Communication specialization at the Department of Art History and Cultural Studies in the Ural State University. The aforementioned experience includes the development of the traditional (for Russian higher school) theoretical course “Foundations of Intercultural Communication”, practically oriented course “Intercultural Interactions: Russians and the Perception of the Others”, which includes trainings, group works and discussions; and the course still-in-development – “Ethnic and Nationalist Technologies in the Globalization Time: a Quest for a New Cultural Identity”, which is a part of the on-going preeminent research of a new framework for analysis and description of contemporary culture and art carried out by the Department of Art History and Cultural Studies. The main points are: the interdisciplinary approach necessary for Intercultural communication studies; the complexity of its main concepts – “identity”, “culture”, “nation”, “ethnicity” and the need for the balanced, both theoretical and practical strategy. The author also discusses theoretical, educational and practical issues of introducing the new problem field in the traditional Russian University system, as well as the diverse and ambivalent psychological aspects and attitudes of teaching Intercultural Communication in modern Russia.

23. Viktor Radchenko: Alternative Media

Alternative media are usually defined as those being outside of the mainstream communication. As such they are sometimes confusing and contradictory. “Alternatives” oftentimes become “mainstream” influencing bigger and broader audience than traditional media (see ohmynews.com for example, B92 radio etc.). Studying mass media, its history and development and its future is impossible without dealing with alternative media. We will most likely see a lot of alternative media development in the nearest future, and the tendencies of alternative media evolution are to be discussed to define it.

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