Cover Osteuropa 11/2010

In Osteuropa 11/2010

Creative Self-articulation and Prohibition
RuNet and the Samizdat Tradition

Henrike Schmidt

Deutsche Fassung


Authors and bloggers who publish on the Russian Internet occasionally cast themselves in the tradition of samizdat. Some do it in order to ennoble their own work. Others stylise themselves as the defenders of freedom in the struggle against legal norms and state encroachment in the Internet. If one uses samizdat not as of self-attribution but as analytical category, the similarities and differences between historical and digital samizdat can be seen. Both distinguish themselves by means of a potential resistance to control and censorship. Where accessibility, production form, distribution, and reach are concerned, the structural differences prevail. RuNet offers a space for self-articulation. It is not per se a space for the counter-public sphere, social criticism, or counter-culture.

(Osteuropa 11/2010, pp. 85–104)