Head of the Organising Committee
Sanna Turoma
sanna.turoma [at] helsinki.fi

Conference Coordinator
Kaarina Aitamurto
kaarina.aitamurto [at] helsinki.fi

Conference Secretary
Maarit Elo-Valente
maarit.elo-valente [at] helsinki.fi

Conference Intern
Miikka Piiroinen
miikka.piiroinen [at] helsinki.fi

Conference e-mail:
fcree-aleksconf [at] helsinki.fi

The Aleksanteri Institute

Unioninkatu 33 (P.O. Box 42)
00014 University of Helsinki
phone +358-(0)50-3565 802

aleksanteri [at] helsinki.fi


Past Aleksanteri Conferences

Alexandra Arkhipova, Daria Radchenko & Alexey Titkov (Presidential Academy of Public Administration and National Economics (RANEPA), Russia)

Contesting Memories: the 2014-2015 Moscow Rallies

Several rallies (pro and contra Putin and state politics) took place in Moscow during 2014-2015. People started to come out in thousands on Moscow streets to protest against the war in Ukraine or to support Putin. After almost one year of "silence" these rallies mark off a new period in political communication. Our interdisciplinary research group made participant observations of the rallies and collected interviews and photos of verbal (slogans) and non-verbal signs of protest or support. From the first rally in September (Moscow Peace Rally) 10%-20% of slogans (in every case) turned out to be a type unseen in the mass protests of 2011-2012. These posters contained lists of historical dates or names on them, for instance, "1917–1937–1968", "1979-2014?", "1984", "1991-2014", without any explicit comments. Building on dates as signifiers of certain well-known historical events, the authors of the posters attempted to build a self-explanatory frame for current state policy. Interestingly, people with very different political views used such a mode of communication and even if the historical dates or names were the same (for example, both sides used the reference to "Stalin/Putin" or "1991" in their slogans), they were assigned with different, sometimes the opposite meanings. The efforts of the participants of the peace rally and their opponents concentrated on commemorating and legitimizing two different historical paradigms. Based on the collected material, our paper aims to reveal the methods of these paradigms' construction and maintenance, uncovering the enormous shift taking place in modern Russian society.