Where are you gentlemen of culture?  / Culture / Nezavisimaya Gazeta

Where are you gentlemen of culture? / Culture / Nezavisimaya Gazeta

Why authors Krutoy and Matvienko do not try to clearly express their position on the special operation in Ukraine

culture, soft power, special military operation, ukraine, society, opinion, composers, Igor Krutoy, Igor Matvienko

Igor Matvienko and Igor Krutoy have been mentioned in the Presidential Council for Culture and Arts for more than a year. Photo by RIA Novosti

Speaking to the people of Russia with an appeal to recognize the independence of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Russian President Vladimir Putin outlined the elements of our state’s “soft power”, through which Russia has tried to preserve and preserve neighboring Ukraine. its sphere of influence. The statement noted low prices for energy resources, different preferences in foreign trade, as well as cheap loans. In addition, the head of the Russian state noted that it was our country that pledged to repay Ukraine’s foreign debt since the days of the Soviet Union.

Despite the measures taken by the Russian Federation, appointed by the president, as well as other important efforts aimed at creating an attractive image of Russia in the minds of Ukrainians, the result was unsatisfactory. The Russian “soft power” has never been able to adequately participate in the competitive race with the images of the West, losing the struggle for the minds of the citizens of the Ukrainian state and the loyalty of its population. Western mass culture, expressed in the attractive image of success ideology and worldly passions, multiplied by massive global propaganda, finally did its job. Now our soldiers and officers are forced to replace the failed tools of “soft power” in the difficult task of protecting the interests of the state.

However, the inefficiency of “soft power” cannot be compensated for by military force and strong methods alone. Vulgar attempts to keep the situation at hand only by brute force will produce results, they say, in the short term, when it is necessary to stop immediate threats to national security quickly. However, in the long run, it is clear that we will face the same problems that were relevant before February 24th.

It should be understood that, in addition to the possibility of conducting transactions with gas, oil and other energy resources that are attractive to partners, an important component of the “soft power” of any influential country is interesting and well-executed cultural projects. In the long run, this work is no less important than the development of a powerful military-industrial complex.

But in order for Russia’s “influence package” to include, in addition to cheap gas and loans, other proposals that are of interest to the average person, Russia itself needs to begin to act methodically and painstakingly over the coming decades. First, in the form of “correcting mistakes”, re-evaluating previous methods of applying “soft power”, and then trying to build a new conceptual approach to spreading Russia in the conditions of a reconfigured world order. And only then will the Russian Federation have a real opportunity to compete on an equal footing with the West, not only in the post-Soviet space, but also beyond its borders, as well as successfully wage a difficult struggle for the minds and sympathies of the masses. .

As a first step in “debugging”, it is worth carefully assessing our experience in terms of what has been created and implemented in this direction over the past decades, and remember who was supposed to coordinate such work. Among the many specialized organizations, the Council for Culture and Arts of the President of the Russian Federation should be the most influential.

This is a permanent advisory body of the highest level, created specifically to inform the head of state about the situation in the field of culture and art, to ensure fruitful interaction between the President of the Russian Federation and artists, associations and organizations of various groups of culture and art, representatives of creative intelligentsia, as well as to develop proposals to the President of the Russian Federation on topical issues State policy in the field of culture and art. Great responsibility has been entrusted to the Council, and its prestige is high. But where are the results of his work, or at least signs of activity in recent years, and especially in recent months, given the difficult situation today? After looking for signs of the council’s work, the feeling is painful…

For example, you can pay attention, for example, to two very famous and influential members of the structure – Igor Krutoy and Igor Matvienko. Many questions arise: What are they doing at this difficult time for the country? Are they doing everything to fulfill the task assigned to them, or are they trying to “wait for the task to finish”?

Why, when so many ordinary artists and cultural figures at such a time, to put it mildly, difficult, go to help their country and compatriots, the whole council under the chairmanship of the president, headed by such authoritative and eminent artists, in principle, does not show sufficient activity?

They seem to have more than enough opportunities to speak, and the topic worries everyone. For example, the story of the Krutoy family itself is interesting – the media reported that his father was from the village of Dubinovo (now Safransky district, Odessa region) in 1941, together with his younger brother and younger sister, he ended up in the area occupied by the Germans, and then they ended up Ending up in a concentration camp. After his release in 1944, he was drafted into the Red Army, served until 1952 as part of the group of Soviet troops in the GDR, and then returned to the republic. Grandfather of Igor Krutoy died during the Great Patriotic War. Could a composer with such a family history not see what happened to Ukraine and its society? It can be assumed that Igor Matvienko, the son of a military man, Soviet and Russian composer, public figure, respected artist of Russia (2020), can also say a lot to the audience.

During the special operation, some people had already traveled to the war zone more than once or publicized or publicized their position in person. Where are the sayings of the above-mentioned people, who for many years were associated with the state and obtained from it all kinds of advantages and preferences? Silence. Moreover, it seems that Igor Matvienko and Igor Krutoy decided to reduce the important and familiar events that united the peoples of the former Soviet Union.

While Igor Krutoy was silent on his social networks, his main brainchild made a sad verdict. The New Wave competition, as reported by the media, was canceled in 2022 due to events in the country and the world. The composer for many years was the ideological inspirer of the competition, which was to be held this year in Sochi. Every year he collected the stars of Russian show business, but this time the holiday was cancelled. Krutoy himself has stopped communicating with his fans since the end of February. It’s hard to understand where he is now.

Matvienko spoke out against the initiative of singer Nikolai Baskov to organize and hold a special New Eurovision Song Contest. According to the composer and producer, he doubts the quality of such a product. According to Matvienko, all music awards in Russia are now completely “biased”, because they belong to various media holdings and therefore protect the interests of these structures.

But, gentlemen of culture, Matvienko and Krutoy, why not talk about the main topic when the country needs you most? Where did you disappear to when the situation and agenda previously favorable to you changed? A lot of money has been spent on responsible events in front of you. And now what? For three months now, we have not heard any clear comments about, perhaps, the most fundamental events taking place today with our country and its citizens.

Society and the state have a clear social and political requirement for cultural support for the interests of Russia, and the state has a specially created state institution, including for these needs, financed with taxpayers’ money. But where are at least some of the findings, and most importantly, what is the position of this institution itself? Such silence at a time like this just feels like sabotage. Can the council with such activity solve the tasks assigned to it?

Today it seems that this situation represents a serious threat to the national interests of our country. “Soft power”, led by people of culture and art, must act systematically, in an orderly manner, and most importantly, qualitatively, so that “hard power” does not interfere, as happened on February 24. But when the set of tasks is not fulfilled, and people are either unable or unwilling to do their incredibly important work, we end up with an unsatisfactory outcome. It is a pity that due to the passivity of people who have been favored by the authorities for many years and have now decided to remain silent, the simple Russian soldier has to take up rap again.

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