Samantha Peacock: The Cultural Value of History: Russia Then and Now

School of Communication

We are conditioned by the culture that surrounds us and as human beings we begin to depend on it. Our notion of the human is constantly changing and evolving, being shaped in the present by the past at large. Contemporary Russia is caught between two worlds. This site of contention, one of oppression and autocratic rule while the other liberal and democratic, can be directly observed in Russian culture and the policies that influence culture. This oscillation between ideologies has had an irreversible impact on Russian citizens’ relationship with the arts and culture, with each other, and with the state.

This research paper examines Russia as an unfinished project. Its long and tumultuous history will continue to, if not forever then for a long time, shape the notion of the human. The Cultural Value of History: Russia Then and Now focuses on this site of contention in Russian cultural policy, economic freedom versus political freedom, and how it has shaped both the foreigner and the native Russian’s relationship to the culture.