'Connecting to the Masses – 100 Years from the Russian Revolution' in Amsterdam, November 13-14

I am proud to announce that a crazy idea shared with Athina Athina Karatzogianni on a dark, late night in Leicester, UK, is now coming to life in Amsterdam, and with an amazing program! In November 13-14, we will host the two-day conference 'Connecting to the Masses – 100 Years from the Russion Revolution: From Agitprop to the Attention Economy, taking place at the International Institute for Social History (day 1) & the University of Amsterdam (day 2). The conference is a collaboration between Athina (School of Media, Communication and Sociology of the University of Leicester) and myself, with Andrey Rezaev (Department of Sociology at St. Petersburg State University), the International Institute of Social History, and the State Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki. Check out the amazing program!

Brief event description
The relationship between governments and the people they govern has been always hostage to rhetoric, propaganda, and strategic public relations, as well as aggressive marketing and the influence of contemporary media industries, altering the dynamics of healthy political communications. Often, this relationship has thrived on charismatic leaders, the “avant-garde”, who could feel the pulse of their population’s grievances, demands and hopes for the future. Whether the Russian revolution of 1917 is interpreted as a product of class struggle, as an event governed by historic laws predetermined by the alienation of the masses by monopoly industrial capitalism, or as a violent coup by a proto-totalitarian Bolshevik party, the Russian revolutionaries understood and connected to the masses in a way that the autocracy, bourgeois elites and reformists alike failed to do.

In the midst of rage, desperation and harsh everyday life conditions, due to the pressure and failures of WW1 against Germany, food shortages, growing poverty, inequality and alienation, the Bolsheviks felt the undercurrents in the seas of history and spoke to the people, exactly when the relationship between the Tsar and the population, and between the Provisional government and the Soviets were at a crucial tipping point. The Bolsheviks grasped the opportunity to change the world for themselves in the here and now, rather than waiting to reform in the future for their children. They did so violently and unapologetically with the effects of their move running through the Cold War and the confrontation with the West, all the way to the complex and intense relations between Russia and the United States, in terms of failed engagements of the past 25 years since the fall of the USSR, the first socialist state in the world.