Sunday, May 14, 2017

Igor Baskin paints

ShortcArt by Igor Baskin

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ShortcArt: 'Poetry of Shortcuts and Headlines'
project by Igor Baskin
Almost 8 million people in Russia have become parties to the procession "Immortal Regiment"
2017.05.09 | Interfax


  1. The Day of Victory (Den' Pobedy) marks the anniversary when the Nazi German Instrument of Surrender went into force, which occurred on 9 May 1945 in the USSR. The capitulation to the Allied nations was signed by lieutenant general Walter Bedell Smith (on behalf of the American supreme Allied commander Dwight D. Eisenhower) and Alfred Jodl, chief of the operations staff of the Armed Forces High Command (Oberkommando der Wehrmacht) in Reims early in the morning on 7 May 1945 and went into effect at 23:01 Central European Time on 8 May (Victory in Europe Day in most western European countries). When Josef Stalin announced the signing, he referred to it as a" preliminary act on an unconditional surrender. The main contribution, however, was done by Soviet people and not by the Allies, therefore the capitulation must be signed in front of the Supreme Command of all countries of the anti-Hitler coalition, and not only in front of the Supreme Command of Allied Forces. Moreover, I disagree that the surrender was not signed in Berlin, which was the center of Nazi aggression." So, on his orders, another ceremony was held in Karlshorst, a Berlin suburb, between marshal Georgy Zhukov and Wilhelm Keitel, the OKW chief, late on 8 May (9 May in Moscow). Under Stalin, the official death toll in the Great Patriotic War was placed at 7 million, but the actual figure was probably closer to 27 million. Den' Pobedy did not become an official holiday until 1965, at first only in some soviet republics, after the number of people with direct memories of the conflict had fallen significantly. After the breakup of the USSR, the Russian governments did not celebrate the 9 May holiday with large Soviet-style mass demonstrations of military powder until Vladimir Putin began promoting the prestige of the governing regime and history, and national holidays and commemorations became a source of national self-esteem. The 60th and 70th anniversaries (2005 and 2015) became the largest popular holidays since the collapse of the Soviet Union. In 2005, as a patriotic response to the pro-democratic Orange Revolution in Ukraine, the news agency RIA Novosti and a youth civic organization launched a campaign that called on volunteers to distribute orange-and-black "small George" ribbons (Georgiyevskaya lenta) in the streets ahead of the celebration, modeled after the Order of Saint George, established in 1769 as Russia's highest military decoration; since then the ribbons have been worn by civilians as an act of commemoration and remembrance. The motto that goes with it is "We remember, we are proud!"

  2. The idea of the Immortal Regiment to pay tribute to the generation that endured the war originated among three friends while sharing a solemn moment near the Eternal Flame monument in the Siberian city of Tomsk in 2011. One of them, journalist Sergei Lapenkov, had a grandfather who had been awarded the Hero of the Soviet Union medal and returned home disabled. "Thanks to my grandfather, for a long time I thought it was normal that if a man is a soldier and comes back from a war, then he has either no legs or no arms," Lapenkov said. Igor Dmitriyev "noticed what the passage of time was doing -- there were fewer and fewer veterans and more and more pompous speeches. So he said, 'Next year let's organize a parade with portraits of our grandfathers.' We wanted to return the holiday to the main hero -- to the person who experienced the war and to whom we are ultimately grateful for the fact that we are alive today." So in 2012 the three organized an event at which 6,000 locals turned out with portraits. "I saw one guy who made a placard out of a child's shovel. He glued a laminated photograph to it," according to Lapenkov. Over the next few years, the movement spread to other Russian cities, organized by independent regional journalists through networks tied to the original Tomsk organizers. The only condition was that the local organizations follow the Tomsk lead and remain noncommercial, apolitical, and nongovernmental. The first Immortal Regiment procession in Moscow was in 2013, when one of the local organizers, Nikolai Zemtsov, independently registered a new organization called Immortal Regiment-Moscow. The following year, Sergei Ivanov, the chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office, ordered all local officials across the country to support Zemtsov's movement, which was renamed Immortal Regiment-Russia in 2015. The government-sponsored organization put its official stamp on what had been a grassroots movement: it promoted the use of Soviet and Stalinist symbols and the mass distribution of the Georgiyevskaya lenta; in far eastern Krasnoyarsk, the procession was held at the same time as the Moscow event so marchers could participate "together" with Putin; in Samara schools were given quotas of required participation in the march; in Nizhny Novgorod, students were forced to carry photographs of unknown people; in Arkhangelsk, officials barred activists from carrying the photographs of British and American sailors who died providing Lend-Lease supplies to the USSR. At the same time, the original organizers have been regularly denounced in nationalist media as "foreign agents."


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