I think the approach taken by this new project is unique among English-language media dealing with Russia, and definitely deserves a post.
I can think of no better way to describe it than to quote the author himself; however, not to rob him of his authorship, I’ll only present some excerpts and photos on here, and the rest can be read at the original piece on RT and seen at “Our Russia” page.
<Kimry, Tver region, by Dmitry Postnikov. Source article HERE.>
Our Russia project: Set to become powerful instrument for peace in media war
by Phil Butler
There is a ferocious media war raging today, a battle between Western
corporate media concerns, and the various Russian news outlets.
a view of this war you may not have considered. I have been a dissenter
against the typical American view of Russia for the past two years, and
I am reminded now of another war, with its parallels and similarities
to this one. A network of World War I trenches appeared crisscrossing
the frontiers around Germany and Austria Hungary just over 100 years
ago. The battle descended into a vicious stalemate, one much like the
attrition of the media war we see today. The truth is stalled, impaled
on veritable spears of deceit, anger, mistrust and often-egregious
behavior. The situation reminds me of something the brilliant novelist
and journalist, Sebastian Faulks, told the Daily Mail when speaking of
trench warfare during the Great War: “The world went collectively mad, in a convulsion that revised our idea of what kind of creatures human beings really are.”
get irritated, frustrated, and often downright mean and nasty towards
anyone who promotes an opposing view. We are collectively mad, and as
totally convulsed in opposition to one another as we could be. This is
why I, my Romanian wife and partner, a former RT Producer, and a
brilliant Russian programmer decided to launch ‘Our Russia’.
concept of ‘Our Russia’ is a simple one.
Let me summarize how ‘Our
Russia’ can be a powerful instrument for peace: show the real people in
other counties real winners, and real heroes and friends and they will
understand and believe.
To better understand my point, take
today’s media. News now is a minute-to- minute, in-your-face,
instantaneous information stream chattering on three billion devices
24/7. Big news outlets must capitalize on this. The media today must
serve up what is in demand, and in a media war that demand crystallizes
as point-counterpoint. By its very nature 21st century news changes very
little, it only maintains a static resonance, a stagnant
counterbalancing of information uptake. Without delving into highly
technical social media concepts, it’s fair to say most news is
meaningless today. For change to occur, for ideas to reform, a solution
for the mid- and long-term is needed. ‘Our Russia’ is a tiny seedling
now, but is based on a longstanding reality of education and
communications. By presenting good stories about Russia, and I don’t
mean contrived ones either, we will present Russia’s backyard to
Americans and Brits. They will get to see real people and places and the
veil over this mysterious place called Russia will eventually be
The world needs to understand the real Russia.
And that is how you
win the war. Once your neighbor knows you, once they see your flowers
blooming while theirs wilt under a blistering sun, that’s when the
person next door begins to ask questions. We cannot change anything in a
day, nor in a week, but in a year or two maybe we’ll fill these
trenches in and get back to the business of making a better world, where
divisions between Russia and America fall away and more common ground
begins to emerge.
“We have always held to the hope, the belief,
the conviction that there is a better life, a better world, beyond the
horizon.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt
<Coastline of Sochi, by Victor Teplykov, source article HERE>
PS. From Tatzhit:
Another real interesting, if less diverse, resource for uniquely Russian images is a Russian-language site “Ruins of an Empire“, which is I understand was started by urban explorers. It contains an unbelievable amount of post-apocalyptic pictures of abandoned Soviet-era army bases, factories, nuclear shelters and the like, but also a lot of breathtaking scenery – both man-made and views of nature. The huge user-generated database has over 2,000 photo reports, many of them very well done.