Archive for March, 2010


Who is Yury Shevchuk? I’ve never heard of him before. But then I’m in the U.S., and he’s back in the U.S.S.R….and we have nothing in common that I know of, except for a personal distrust of Putin’s politics. He is a rockstar, a Bono of sorts, who is using his fame to voice his opinion about the nasty aspects of the current administration.

Shevchuk said despite the fact that many musicians are co-opted by the regime, there is also a small revolution brewing below the decks. He compared the situation to the underground Soviet rock scene in the 1970s and 1980s: ‘I know there are thousands of wonderful musicians who sing songs about civil themes, who do not agree with what is happening in this country. There are a lot of wonderful young people who are playing in cellars. And all this is gaining some critical mass.’

And what of “pokazukha“? It’s a Russian word meaning “for show” or “counterfeit” or “simulated”. It’s something Shevchuk’s passion is not.

Will these nascent, scattered, and fractured roots of a social uprising reach critical mass and become a catalyst for real political change? Will they get crushed in a Kremlin crackdown? Or will it all fade away, leaving people discouraged and disgusted? Stay tuned.

–Based on an article by Brian Whitmore.

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