Friday, 31 March 2023 to Sunday, 2 April 2023

From Kandagar to Donbass - Svoikh ne brosayem! The Evolution of Afghan Myth through the Prism of Post-Soviet film, literature and popular culture.

Fri31  Mar12:30pm(15 mins)
James Watt South Room 375


Marina Aptekman1
1 Tufts University, United States


The paper will discuss the evolution of the image of Afghan War in the Russian collective perception from the Yeltsin’s years to Putin’s. The presenter plans to concentrate on two opposite mythologies of Afghan war. The first myth, which originated in the late 1980s, depicts this war as a cruel, meaningless, and lost cause of the failing Soviet state. The second myth, widely popularized during the recent years, interprets the same war as a necessary campaign against the possible NATO expansion and the growing influence of Islamic fundamentalists in the Central Asia. The first concentrates on death, cruelty, and atrocities; the second on mutual support, patriotism, and courage. The paper will compare these two myths through the analysis of Afghan syndrome in the movies, Devyataya Rota and Bratstvo. It will then discuss Alexei’s Ivanov’s novel Nenastye and its screen adaptation, which tell the story of Afghan veteran fraternities and their relations with the organized criminal mafia. The paper will also speak about the transformation of the underground Afghan war songs into the official Afghan chanson, and the propagandistic role of the bands, Golubye Berety, Kaskad and Liube in the formation of Russian military patriotism during the recent years.