Short Assignment 5

616 words - 3 pages

In the collapsed Russian Empire, modern generations grasp onto national strength and pride in their remembrance of their pasts. In art, the Russian people immortalize their history through songs about their true inner power and endurance. Bands like Alisa, DDT, Gazmanov, and Arkona comment on the state of modern Russia in comparison to it's past, and while some bands idealize the inner Slavs of the Russian people, others glorify their endurance, and others still are accepting of the new lack of strength in the modern Russian. As Russia reevaluates it's past, each voice acts as a foothold on which Russia regains it's balance.
For bands like Alisa and Arkona, the Russian pride and identity lies in battles and folktales. Their performances speak to the earliest Russian character; the tough, brutish, fur-covered, god worshiping Slav. Their lyrics often claim a genetic, or spiritually intrinsic ...view middle of the document...

The band DDT also voices an argument for the recognition of modern historical Russian strength, poeticizing the endurance of Russian people. Taking full responsibility for both the good and the bad, in the song Born in the USSR DDT lists subjects of both Russian pride, like “Olympic gold... Red Square... Chess, Opera, Ballet...” and Russian anguish, like “Stalin... The spies and the secret police... The oligarchs and beggars, the might and the ruin”. They promote the acceptance of the sheer epic-like journey of Russian culture through the ages, encapsulating each listed item with the phrase “This is my country!”. This glorification of the entirety of Russian history emphasizes the eternal endurance of Russia against all odds, and creates an inception of hope in the people of Russia.
Alternatively, the band Gazmanov's version of Born in the USSR promotes a different sense of Russia, one that has moved past the fights and failures of it's ancestors. Singing lyrics like “Today is victory. Understand and forgive.”, “Hello, Ancient Rus, I am your nervous brother”, and “Yesterday you were the chief (of the Empire), and today you are an orphan.” Gazmonov de-emphasizes the importance of Russia as a colonial, or industrial power, and turns focus to the meeker modern Russian, designed to care for his/her fellow man. The song claims that regardless of Russia's failures, it has succeeded in providing a comfortable environment for it's people to live in, where Slavic strength is unnecessary. Gazmonov represents the voice of acceptance in Russia's struggle to deal with it's hard ridden Empire.
Modern Russians look to their past for the identity of their culture. In the wake of economic and political failure, they strive for a solid base on which to reassert themselves. That search reveals itself in the songs of the people; bands like Alisa, DDT, Gazmanov and Arkona clamor for different Russian social identities, each emphasizing elements of modern Russian culture; whether that be Slavic strength, historical endurance, or modern acceptance.

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