THE MOSCOW TIMES

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In Russia, 2011-2012 years were marked by a wave of protests against the falsification of elections to the State Duma and presidential elections. The loudest were the meeting of thousands at the Bolotnaya Square and the PussyRiot group’s action in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior. The authorities severely suppressed the protest movement and began to criminalize the opposition, prosecutions began. Subsequently, a course was taken to strengthen the national-patriotic ideology in the country. As history shows, along with rhetoric about «great state», «great past», «great nation», the image of the «enemy», both external and internal, forms. All this eventually leads to a «great mission» and the aggression towards «the other», discrimination and war.
In this landmark period for the country, Irina Korina creates the «Scarecrow»: «The work was done in connection with state speculation on the theme of national history», — says the artist. The appearance of the figure resembles the collective image of a Russian buffoon in a long shirt and pointed cap. The meaning is revealed in detail. A jacket with flowers and rhinestones, as if from a cheap clothing market, refers to the «ordinary people», the most susceptible to propaganda. For the cap, Korina used the country technique of making rugs, which usually associates with the Russian hut, with something national, cozy — it is a simple symbol of those traditions that are so revered and guarded. Long sleeves are the scarves of football clubs PSV (Philips Sport Vereniging) from the Netherlands and Rosenborg Ballklub from Norway. As you know, football fans are regularly accused of nationalism, which is relevant not only for Russia, but also for liberal Europe. And this becomes an indicator of the reverse side of hooray-patriotism. In the excited crowd, national pride becomes an excuse for xenophobia — blind hatred of other countries, peoples, cultures, religions. And now the amusing buffoon turns into an adherent of a racist ultra-right Ku Klux Klan.V

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