With love for the Motherland: methodological recommendations
Dates2021 - Ongoing
A story about modern Russian ideology
“With love for the Motherland: methodological recommendations” is the guidebook’s name on patriotic education for primary school students. It contains a detailed work plan, game scenarios, and class materials (poems, songs, pictures, etc.). Each topic introduces a particular aspect of Russian culture, focusing on the country's geographical, historical, spiritual, and moral greatness, and then offers to answer questions to memorize the material.
Modern Russian ideology is turned to the past and is built around military victories, Orthodox values, and Slavic culture. Each of these categories aimed at the "formation of civic identity". It is strictly defined by the form and content of statements and embodied with the help of the most recognizable symbols.
To reinforce the chosen policy, the government opens new monuments, creates memorable places, introduces symbols into everyday life (graffiti, ribbons, posters), revives the old, and produces new patriotic practices. All this, along with objects from the past that slowly losing their meaning, forms the environment in which an ordinary Russian lives.
Frequently appearing in the same places, symbols from different categories are layered on top of each other, acquire atypical features and transform. The symbol's meaning is also distorted under the influence of the environment, which is only sometimes ready to accept the imposed image. Unsuitable conditions and mutual influence lead to the depreciation of the symbol - only the form remains of it. But, since it is still relevant for discourse, it is supplemented with sacred elements and several synonyms. Thus, the form is enriched and monstrous, and the number of elements necessary for representation increases - the symbol is updated. All this together exposes a fundamental gap between the rhetoric of the authorities and the real state of things.
A person from this environment, intentionally or unconsciously, appropriates and adapts symbolism to express personal desires and ideas. So, in a revised form, he returns to the environment that the government insistently offers him as an "identity".