On February 07, 2013 Doctor of History, Professor of the East European Institute of the Free University of Berlin, Mr. Andrey Makarychev, delivered an open lecture within the framework of an interdisciplinary seminar held by the Scientific-and-Training Centre “Centre for Cultural Researches into Post-Socialism”:
“Images of Russia in Germany: Normative Limits and Cultural Practices”
In many respects perception of Russia by the united Germany is based on a matrix consisting of binary oppositions like “democracy – tyranny”, “freedom – absence of freedom”, “open – close society”, which has deeply rooted itself in a German social conscience. These limits which go back to post-war history and history of the county unification not only form a modern German political discourse, but also manifest themselves in a miraculous manner as a cultural phenomenon, which is especially well read by the example of historical-and-cultural landscape of Berlin.
During his lecture Andrey Makarychev told the audience how German mass media and museums construct various images of Russia and how these images are connected with historical and cultural remembrance of relations between the two countries.
As a result the author comes to a conclusion that the structure of German discourse about Russia is not only historically predetermined and rooted in the history of mutual relations between the two countries, but is also determined by current relations between Russia and Germany to a large extent. It is difficult for Russia to fit in with German notions about democracy and tolerance. Furthermore, Mr. Makarychev made a supposition that Russia could change its negative cultural image which had formed in German mass media with the help of a soft power and an unobtrusive promotion of its new image, which would be able to correspond to ideals of German political society.