Intersectional, celebrity, post-truth: Russian feminism and new media environment

ECREA 2022

9th European Communication Conference

"Under the theme ‘Rethink Impact’, ECC 2022 will aim to draw attention to the questions how research insight is translated into tangible outcomes for society, how it can be quantified and validated, and how teaching, community building and outreach as core academic practices are assessed."

Conference Topic: Rethink Impact
Venue: Aarhus University (Denmark)
Date: Oct 19-22, 2022 
Contact: info@ecrea.eu
Website: https://conferences.au.dk/ecrea2022/

Session info:
Russia in the 2000s has become infamous for its anti-feminist gender politics. A so-called ‘conservative turn’ is marked by a growing role of religious elites, militarisation of state ideology, pronatalist family politics, and promotion of "traditional" gender roles and sexual norms. However, since the early 2010s, the feminist movement in Russia, influenced by a global circulation of feminist images and ideas and also reacting to domestic conservative turn, has also begun to grow rapidly in popularity. One of the main tools for promoting feminist ideas and discourses became social network sites, such as VKontakte (the most popular social network site in Russia), Facebook and Instagram, and other digital media platforms, which allowed activists to create and disseminate information in various formats: memes, instructional videos, theoretical texts, podcasts, political proclamations, information about past or upcoming events. Traditional media started to pay more attention to feminism (both in positive and negative modalities) after such online flashmob as #IamNotAfraidToSay (#ЯнеБоюсьСказать) and #MeToo. Ksenia Sobchak's feminist-influenced presidential campaign in 2018 brought even more visibility to feminist ideas and discourses within the mediated public sphere in Russia. This panel explores the proliferation of different forms of feminism in Russian media ranging from neoliberal feminism, celebrity feminism, intersectional feminism, and post-truth feminism. We see our panel as a series of closeups into various constellations of feminist representations, that allows us to see the diversity and specificity of feminist ideas and practices emerging in Russia in a complex hybrid (Chadwick, 2014) media environment and under the political and cultural pressures from the authoritarian initiatives of the state and its apparatuses of propaganda. The panel contributes to de-westernising knowledge on feminism(s) by focusing on a much understudied and undertheorized Russian media context and bringing a critical perspective on the role of feminism in responding to contemporary societal challenges.

Chair: Marco Scarcelli, Italy

14:30 - 14:45
Photoshop-feminism and neoconservative postmodernism: Russian feminist take over Kremlin.
D. Zhaivoronok
Tampere University, Faculty of communication science, Tampere, Finland.

14:45 - 15:00
Russian social media influencers and neoliberalization of feminism
S. Ratilainen
Tampere University, Faculty of communication sciences, Tampere, Finland.

15:00 - 15:15
Translating intersectional feminism into Russian
D. Yangeldina
Bergen University, Centre for Women's and Gender Research, Bergen, Norway.

15:15 - 15:30
Mediation of female public figures as the indicator of porous media structures in Russia
G. Miazhevich
Cardiff University, School of Journalism Media and Culture, Cardiff, United Kingdom.

15:30 - 15:45 Traditional values, and representations of women and LGBT+ in the Russian media: a feminist analysis
V. Shapovalova
University of Copenhagen, Institut for Kommunikation, Copenhagen, Denmark.

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