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

Heli Reimann (University of Helsinki, Finland)

Ira Österberg (Aleksanteri Institute, University of Helsinki, Finland)

Dragana Cvetanovic (Aleksanteri Institute, University of Helsinki, Finland) & Lev Shishov (Bobisch IS-Flowjob)

Panel abstract: Meaning of Popular Music(s) in Soviet and Post-Soviet Cultural Spaces

This panel focuses on the meaning and functions of popular music in culture. Both two paper focus on one particular style of popular music, with additionally a slightly different spatio-temporal focus. The papers, in a sense, form two case studies in analysing the functions and meanings one particular style of music can have in a specific context. The cases are rock during the stagnation period in Russia, and hip hop in present day Russia. As a result the panel aims at finding interesting differences and parallels between the different musics and their functions in the different cultural spaces.

Ira Österberg in her paper "Rock as Gentle Subversion in the Films of Dinara Asanova" discusses the roles and functions of rock songs in Russian cinema of the stagnation period. Rock music, despite its forbidden status, was still occasionally used as film music. In her paper she will explore what kinds of instances are to be found in the films of one director and what kind of functions are attributed to these instances. There are similarities to American use of rock as film music (attachment to youth and rebellion) but also interesting differences.

Dragana Cvetanovic's paper "St.Petersburg and Its B-Boys: Hip Hop and Youth Policies" discusses the role of hip hop in the present day St. Petersburg. By discussing the specific features of Russian b-boys, dancers, and the global recognition they've received, this paper will specificly concentrate on the relationship between hip hop culture and youth policies in Russia.

In each case, a style of popular music originally created in the United States is adopted and assimilated in a national culture and it then acquires its unique national form. The panel aims at discussing the tension between the national and the international - in that each musical style has been seen as somewhat subversive, even dangerous, in each of the specific cultural spaces, yet there is something atemporal and international about the role of music as opposing the establishemnt and the status quo. As a general statement it can be said that music is not just a reflection of the on-going processes in the society, but an active participant of those processes - and in some cases even their instigator.