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Playlist: Russia

Compiled By: Eva Breneman

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CL 2006 Lilia Shevtsova Putins Russia key domestic changes

From WQLN | Part of the Chautauqua Lectures series | 58:47

Russian affairs expet Lilia Shevtsova talks about life in post Putin Russia.

Default-piece-image-1 Russian affairs expert Lilia Shevtsova talks about life in Russia after Vladamir Putin. Ms Shevtsova feels it will be a turning point is Russian history weather president Putin leaves office or decides to use the powers he's taken on to stay in office.

Pro-Putin, Anti-Putin

From Julia Barton | 04:13

Thousands of protesters gathered in the months before the re-election of Vladimir Putin as Russia's president. Putin’s supporters and detractors both have pop songs to sing about him. But oddly, Russia’s best-known pro-Putin and anti-Putin songs were written by the very same songwriter. Julia Barton spoke with him Moscow.

Img_2277_small Alexander Yellin sits in an expensive café in downtown Moscow. The 53-year-old lyricist is partly bald – what’s left of his graying hair is tied back in a pony-tail.

Yellin writes songs that others sing. Ten years ago, he bet a friend $200 that he could create a hit song in Russia on the cheap.

Yellin won the bet. His pop song “A Man Like Putin” became so huge that it’s been translated into English.

 

 

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Writing the Best Known Pro-Putin and Anti-Putin Songs

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Alexander Yellin (Photo: Julia Barton)

Alexander Yellin (Photo: Julia Barton)

Thousands of protesters plan to gather in Russia on Saturday to call for political reform. But Moscow will also host competing rallies, some in support of Russia’s current prime minister and top presidential candidate, Vladimir Putin.

Putin’s supporters and detractors both have pop songs to sing about him. But oddly, Russia’s best-known pro-Putin and anti-Putin songs were written by the very same songwriter.

Alexander Yellin sits in an expensive café in downtown Moscow. The 53-year-old lyricist is partly bald – what’s left of his graying hair is tied back in a pony-tail.

Yellin writes songs that others sing. Ten years ago, he bet a friend $200 that he could create a hit song in Russia on the cheap.

Yellin won the bet. His pop song “A Man Like Putin” became so huge that it’s been translated into English.

When “A Man Like Putin” came out, Putin had been president for two years. Yellin said his song reflected the country’s admiration for the man.

“At that moment, there was such euphoria that there was this new, young leader who’d move the country forward,” Yellin said. “The song was a bit ironic. It wasn’t opposed to Putin—it was written in a way to depict Putin as the ideal man, even the ideal husband for women.”

Yellin may have written “A Man Like Putin” as light satire, but it wasn’t taken that way. Vladimir Putin made it his anthem and even played it at rallies. Yellin, who’d been a dissident rocker in Soviet days, seemed a bit uncomfortable with the embrace.

But even just a few years ago, he told foreign journalists there was no point writing anti-Putin songs—no one would listen to them.

All that changed last September, when now-Prime Minister Putin announced he was running for president — again. A political opposition leader asked Alexander Yellin if he’d write a different kind of song now, one that reflected the country’s disgruntled mood.

Yellin came up with “Our Madhouse Votes for Putin”, which is from the viewpoint of a patient in a psychiatric ward. “Why is there a hole in my head, and in the budget?” he asks his doctor. “Why instead of tomorrow today is yesterday?

“It’s all so complicated!” the patient concludes. “It’s just too messed up. Our madhouse will vote for Putin, and with Putin we’ll be happy.”

Alexander Yellin said mental illness provides an obvious metaphor for the way Russians view their leaders.

“Schizophrenia seems to me inherent in Russians,” he said. “On the one hand, Russians don’t love those in power, but on the other, they just go along with everything that’s done in the political arena.”

Yellin and his group Rabfak—a Soviet acronym for “Workers’ College”—released the song in October and the video went viral.

Rabfak performed at protest rallies here in Moscow last December. A group of Russian linguists named “Our Madhouse Votes for Putin” the Russian phrase of the year. The last time Yellin won that honor was in 2002—for the phrase “A Man Like Putin.”

All told, Yellin said he made about $8,000 off “A Man Like Putin,” plus the $200 bet. He doesn’t regret writing the song; he even hopes it might get recorded again.

“This time,” he said, “its satirical nature might come through.”

RN Documentary: Pagans and Patriarchs

From Radio Netherlands Worldwide | Part of the RN Documentaries series | 29:30

The revival of ancient pre-Christian rites and rituals in post-communist Russia.

11391599_small Since the fall of communist Russia has seen a rebirth of religious worship, especially in the once so powerful Russian Orthodox Church. But the Russian Federation is home to a vast diversity of cultures, with their own languages and religions. Some of these are now being revived after centuries of repression. While younger generations tend to see these ancient traditions as folklore, the older generations see them as religious rites. As part of the Saint Petrovo?s Day rite among the Finnic-speaking people of Mari-El on the middle Volga, for example, bearded men in embroidered cloaks and women in traditional attire gather in the forest to sacrifice a sheep and bring offering before a tall birch tree. The Russian Orthodox Church denounces these practices, but some of these local groups are hoping for more understanding and support from the authorities, perhaps even official recognition of their so-called ?pagan? and shamanist beliefs. Bill Gasperini plumbs the depths of the situation in Pagans and Patriarchs.

99% Invisible #25- Unsung Icons of Soviet Design (Standard 4:30 Version)

From Roman Mars | Part of the 99% Invisible (Standard Length) series | 04:30

Imagine you're a country with 17 timezones. Your citizens want cassette players, but your factories only make tanks. What do you do?

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Maya Kucherskaya: Church and Society in Contemporary Russia

From WFHB | Part of the Standing Room Only series | 58:56

Multi-talented Maya Kucherskaya, a renowned author of fiction and literature and an accomplished journalist shared her story at an author exposition hosted by the IU department of Slavic languages and the department of religious studies. Kucherskaya spoke at Indiana University Bloomington and was recorded by the Russian and East European Institute which shared it with Standing Room Only, on WFHB.

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Multi-talented Maya Kucherskaya, a renowned author of fiction and literature and an accomplished journalist shared her story at an author exposition hosted by the IU department of Slavic languages and the department of religious studies. Much of her work centers on the Russian Orthodox church  and its interaction with more emergent aspects of  eastern European culture. Kucherskaya spoke at Indiana University Bloomington and was recorded by the Russian and East European Institute which shared it with Standing Room Only, on WFHB.

Maria Alyokhina on Political Art

From Cathy Byrd | Part of the Fresh Art International series | 06:53

Maria Alyokhina talks about political art, Pussy Riot, Hannah Arendt, and working with Belarus Free Theatre.

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Maria Alyokhina , a member of the Russian punk performance group Pussy Riot , talks about the political actions she's been involved in since she and band member Nadya Tolakonikova  were released from prison in late December 2013. Only days after they were freed, the two artists announced their founding of Justice Zone , an organization that provides legal support to political prisoners in Russia, and MediaZona , an online publication that spotlight incidents of political injustice in their home country. In 2014, they were awarded the Hannah Arendt Prize for Political Thought.  Now in London, Maria is preparing to make her theater debut in Burning Doors , with the independent Belarus Free Theatre  company.

Listen to our podcast episode  with filmmakers of the documentary Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer  to learn more about the arrests and televised trial that followed Pussy Riot's two-minute performance in a Moscow cathedral on February 21, 2012.

Billionaires are Everywhere

From Anton Foek | 26:03

Maria is a woman who took to her heart some of the hundreds of thousands of orphans in Russia.

P1000177_small " Billionaires are everywhere ", Maria Yelisseyeva exclaimed when she was asked how she is financing her Foundation called Marias children in Moscows City Center, Dhe also has an art center as she believes that with art she can get her orphans recognizie and heal from different problems and other cultures. There are between 800 000 and 01 million orphans in Russia today. Some 300 000 roam the streets around the bigger cities like Moscow and St Petersburg. The State says its helping but that is far from the truth. The children are labeled insane or crazy maybe mentally unstable at best. Once a qualification like that is on heir documents it is hard if not impssible to get schooling or a proper job. Maria believes that the root of the problem stems from the abuse of alcohol a substance also responsibke of a decline in the Russian population. Education at schools and health instittions might be an answer as might improving the quality of condoms. Listen to the story of this remarkable 44 year old woman with a heart as big as her homeland and with a profound love fpr children, who after all, she says, should be the future of this great nation. She battles the State and seems to win.

My Body, My Message

From Making Contact | Part of the Making Contact series | 29:00

How can a woman determine how she is perceived by the world, and even by herself? On this edition, we hear stories of women who are using their bodies for political protest, and as tools of self-empowerment…forcing everyone to reevaluate their perspectives on the female form.

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Description:

The female body as medium, and as message. How can a woman determine how she is perceived by the world, and even by herself? On this edition, we hear stories of women who are using their bodies for political protest, and as tools of self-empowerment forcing everyone to reevaluate their perspectives on the female form.


Featuring:

Neda Topaloski & Xenia Chernyshova, Femen members; Galia Ackerman, author of the book Femen ; Catherine King, International Museum of Women Vice President of Exhibitions and Programs; Yolando Y'Netta Harbin-Venson, Big Ol Pretty Girls owner; Jenny Diva Davis, clothing designer Diva s Exquisite Designs.

Program #03-15- Begin date: 1/21/15. End date: 07/21/15.

Promo available from
http://www.radioproject.org/sound/2015/MakingCon_150121_promo.mp3