Kova dėl vaizduotės : vizualinė Rusijos imperijos propaganda Šiaurės Vakarų krašte

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Mokslo publikacijos / Scientific publications
Document Type:
Straipsnis / Article
Lietuvių kalba / Lithuanian
Kova dėl vaizduotės: vizualinė Rusijos imperijos propaganda Šiaurės Vakarų krašte
Alternative Title:
Struggle for imagination: the visual propaganda in the Northwest region of the Russian empire
In the Journal:
Lietuvių katalikų mokslo akademijos metraštis [LKMA metraštis]. 2014, t. 38, p. 129-147
Vilnius. Vilniaus kraštas (Vilnius region); Lietuva (Lithuania); Rusija (Russia).
Summary / Abstract:

ENThe subject of this article is the popular lectures illustrated with slide projections from a magic lantern, which were held in the Northwest Region of the Russian Empire. The special Commission of the Vilnius Educational District (1885−1903) and the Commission of the Vilnius Fraternity of the Holy Spirit (established in 1895) organized these lectures, targeted at the uneducated public. The first institution dedicated the most attention to the spread of the knowledge of Russian history, and the second – to the spread of the Eastern Orthodox faith. They both had the same purpose of Russification and sought to inculcate the image of the integrity of the Russian state and the self-perception of the empire’s loyal subjects into the minds of the residents of the Northwest Region. By their agenda-driven propaganda contents these illustrated lectures differed from similar events held in the regions of the Russian Empire, where the priority was mass education. In the early 20th century, with the assistance of the Eastern Orthodox Church, the geography of the lectures extended over the large territory of Lithuania and Belarus. However, the influence of the lectures on Catholic society was limited and did not have a greater impact on the mentality of the inhabitants of the western provinces. Some of the reasons undermining the effect of these measures were common to the entire Russian Empire. One of them was the strict regulation of the lectures, which determined the formalized official nature of the meetings. Moreover, the effectiveness of the illustrated lectures in the Northwest Region was diminished by the predominantly forced, straightforward propaganda. Because of these reasons the lectures mainly attracted a narrow politically biased audience, the large part of which consisted of the same regular Russian-speaking visitors.However, the significance of these popular readings should not be underestimated. It must be taken into account that the illustrated lectures were an innovative means for the spread of knowledge and ideas. In the second half of the 19th century the changes in social and political life prompted the radicalization of the contents of the imperial propaganda and the renewal of the forms of presentation. New means of ideological influence, based not only on verbal argument, but also on visual manipulations that appealed to the sensual experience of the crowd and collective emotions, began to be applied. No less important, at that time the planned inculcation of unified standardized images aimed at the mass consumer began in the Russian Empire. The massive use and standardization of images announced the beginning of an era of the modernization of power strategies and the application of the mass media. Popular readings were one of the manifestations of this process. The main targets of these events were the intellectually least independent social groups – primary school children and soldiers, who constituted the larger part of the audience. Thus, the effectiveness of the lectures was merely an issue of improving the teaching technique and methods, which was time-consuming. Although World War I stopped the illustrated readings, this experience was not lost. The Soviet Union continued the practice of the czarist empire. It immediately began to use the visual media for its propaganda machine, and in 1947 established the Znanie Society, the purpose of which was not only spreading scientific knowledge, but also shaping the views of the Soviet citizen. [From the publication]

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2018-12-17 13:57:06
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