Posted 16 января 2023,, 08:35

Published 16 января 2023,, 08:35

Modified 16 января 2023,, 11:41

Updated 16 января 2023,, 11:41

Long live the collective Voland! How to decide the fate of the rebellious artists

Long live the collective Voland! How to decide the fate of the rebellious artists

16 января 2023, 08:35
In the Russian public space, the demand to "clean up" the fifth column in Russian culture is becoming louder.

The scandal connected with the dismissal from the Chekhov Moscow Art Theater of the artist Dmitry Nazarov and his wife Olga Vasilyeva has reached a new level. As Novye Izvestia has already reported, the artistic director of the theater Konstantin Khabensky decided to dismiss the artists because of their public statements about the fighting in Ukraine, as well as "anti-Russian sentiments." Moreover, the pressure on unwanted citizens goes on all fronts. So, in Nizhny Tagil, a performance with the participation of Nazarov and his wife was canceled "due to the growing discontent of the townspeople, with various appeals and so on".

And State Duma deputy Yelena Drapeko not only spoke in support of this decision, but also suggested reviving political information in theaters. In a conversation with the publication "Podyom", the first deputy head of the State Duma Committee on Culture Elena Drapeko said:

"At one time I worked at the Lenfilm film studio, we had such a form — political information, when people came and told us about events in the world. It was during the Afghan War, and later, and before that. Because artists live in their own closed world and communicate mainly with each other and with the Internet. It is necessary, of course, to work with them — just as, indeed, with other citizens".

The policy of the state carrot and stick is necessary

It is clear that few people on social networks remained indifferent to these events.

For example, political scientist Roman Alekhine decided to bring a theoretical basis to the question of how to deal with people who, in his opinion, take an anti-civil position:

"... We look at the meanings that are usually broadcast on this issue: a Russian citizen has no moral right: to talk about Russia in this way, to support our enemy, to declare that he is ready to fight on the side of the enemy, that is, to kill Russian citizens, to flee from the protection of the Motherland, etc.!

Let's take a closer look: after all, all this is not about the law "On Citizenship" or about the Constitution of the Russian Federation, but about our social expectation of the role of a citizen of Russia, that is, about the moral and ethical appearance of a citizen! And if we are talking about the moral character of a citizen, then it is necessary to build rules on this field, and not rest on the instruments of substantive law.

There are two ways: positive, when we create more comfortable conditions for a responsible citizen, and negative, when we deprive an irresponsible person of something.

I will start with the negative, since there are more calls for it, for example, I think it is right to deprive artists and other citizens who have committed an act unworthy of a citizen of Russia of public and state awards. Everything is reasonable for me here, since the award is a recognition of civic merit, and it elevates a person in the eyes of other citizens. This includes the register of foreign agents, although very carefully. From the material, except that the refusal of any direct or indirect state financing of the activities of such fellow citizens.

Today it is important to make positive tools comprehensive and understandable, so that they are included not in relation to the favorites of officials, but in relation to those who show civic activity useful for the state and society, above the rest, becoming an example for social groups of different scales. Many people are already talking about this, but the state is still deaf to the people.

It is possible to describe everything in more detail and, perhaps, it should be done, although, maybe, colleagues and readers will complement me, but the point is that moral and ethical categories are not adjusted by laws. The law can be a limiter, but no more. It is necessary to create in the state both morally uncomfortable conditions for irresponsible citizens, and comfortable conditions for everyone else and especially comfortable for those who do more for the state. But this will not help either - there will always be those who will live only for themselves under any conditions..."

The fifth column in culture must be cleaned out!

But the director of the Institute of International Political and Economic Strategies — RUSSTRAT Yelena Panina spoke even brighter:

"... Russia, with which the West is waging a hybrid war, is faced with the fact that for decades the dominant group of agents of influence in culture and propaganda does not accept the idea of sovereignty. Its been going on for almost a year, everything is already very clear to everyone, but it turns out that concerts and corporate parties are still being organized in Russia for those who pour mud on us and openly engage in anti-state propaganda.

It turns out that Valery Meladze's concerts in Russian cities are scheduled until spring, tickets were sold and are being sold, and only in one of the cities the frightened administrators decided to stop selling. Lia Akhedzhakova continued to perform in the theater, albeit in one performance.

On New Year's Eve, some ardent Russophobes came to Russia from emigration for a corporate miracle, whose names were called on the Internet, but it's not worth doing additional advertising for them here. Odious liberals from culture are still on state support.

Yes, many were denied concert and stage venues. But there are many who continue to thrive on public money. Only public indignation, and even then not always, forces to cancel decisions on the support of Russophobes.

In the current situation, when the existence of Russia is at stake, a number of tough decisions are needed regarding the Ministry of Culture and its in-depth leadership. If the army of their directors and directors is not completely led there, then they are unsuitable. And if they have double standards, then they are subject to dismissal with a wolf ticket. It is impossible to maintain a situation when cultural leaders in a warring country allow either chaos in their diocese or deliberate sabotage."

And whether to introduce Patriarch Kirill into the play instead of Woland?

It is clear that in the "liberal" segment of Russian social networks there is a completely opposite point of view on the dismissal of Nazarov and in general on repression against opposition cultural figures.

Meanwhile, all this wild situation is already reflected on the ordinary viewer, who has already lost a lot over the past year. And now performances with the participation of Nazarov are canceled not only in the timid and dependent province, but also in the Chekhov Moscow Art Theater itself. So, the audience will not see the next performance "The Forest" staged by Kirill Serebrennikov with Dmitry Nazarov in the role of Unlucky. Not only that, this "Forest" has already become an anonymous work, because instead of the name of the disgraced Serebrennikov, the poster shyly says "Director".

The same fate befell the play "The Master and Margarita", in which Nazarov played neither more nor less, but Woland himself. There have already been suggestions on the web that Woland's replicas will be distributed among his associates, and thus a kind of "collective Woland" will appear in the performance. And the journalist Vasily Alenin offers another solution:

"Listen, why does the theater need this? In the era of traditional values? Why is this infernal character – Woland? Fate gave Konstantin Khabensky an excellent opportunity to play "The Master and Margarita" without Voland. Rewrite the play and introduce a positive hero instead of Woland – well, like Patriarch Kirill. So that he preached real values, sitting on the bench of the Patriarchs – in a chic vestment and with a staff in his hand. 

The course of events in the play will change. Voland's retinue will immediately shrink, and then evaporate, the characters will be dismissed (by order of Konstantin Khabensky), in their place, the right people with strong bodies, graduates of the FSB school, with "Z" badges on the lapels of jackets and jackets will take the stage. Moscow will fall on the performance..."

Draw yourself a state salary!

Social psychologist Alexey Roshchin touched upon the underlying motives of Khabensky's decision to dismiss Nazarov and Vasilyeva:

"Yevgeny Dodolev, a well-known journalist in the past, intervened in the discussion. He asked everyone to take into account that the salary of the artistic director of the Chekhov Moscow Art Theater is ... (tens of) million rubles a year. Which, it seems to him, completely removes all questions.

Nazarov was doomed.

In the pristine and unclouded brains of post-Soviet inhabitants, all these news about some deafening figures of salaries of heads of "budgetary institutions" invariably cause some kind of stupor.

This "distortion" began only under Putin, and is of a comprehensive nature, affecting all (!) budgetary institutions in the country — schools, hospitals, polyclinics, as well as theaters, universities, technical schools, the army (!!) etc. It forms a salary grid everywhere... the administration of the very same institution from the budget that is being lowered to it - and this is the basic principle of the Putin state, which guarantees its amazing unsinkability. And it works, providing an incredible level of loyalty and at the same time servility of all Putin's "bosses" from among the "state employees" — despite the fact that more than half of all working residents of the Russian Federation are already "on the budget". The bottom line is that the position in the "management" is very sweet, whereas dismissal from the position of director is literally "expulsion from paradise". Where else can you draw your own salary from the money falling from the sky?!"