The article “Is multi-kulti dead?” which focuses on integration of immigrants in Europe—specifically Germany—sparked my reflections on meanings of nationalism and culture. In this piece from The Economist, Germany is initially portrayed as an unaccepting, nationalist state that is unwilling to integrate foreigners into the German state. With the influx of immigrants and new religions, many Germans desire “’sharply restricting’ Muslim religious practice…[and] a third think the country is overrun with foreigners and a tenth say they want a strong Fuhrer.”1 Germany has long been a non-pluralistic, nationalist state.… Read the rest here
Over the course of the semester I am conducting research on the dispersion of Russian culture from 1909-1929 through the Ballet Russes and the immediate years following its’ dissolution and dispersion of members. Immediately following the dissolution of the Ballet Russes, the Ballet Russes de Monte Carlo was formed by former members who continued on the practices in a smaller capacity. By examining the spheres of popular culture and fashion (both social and theatrical), I will determine how culture changed and evolved over time.… Read the rest here
- Leon Bakst, Léon Bakst: Set and Costume Designs, Book Illustrations, Paintings and Graphic Works, Comp.
The great impresario of the Ballet Russes, Serge Diaghilev, not only created a prominent art movement, but he also contributed to the downfall of its historic remembrance. By strictly controlling the viewing of Ballet Russes productions and prohibiting video recordings, many documents were not properly archived or were simply never recorded. This means that while the most famous performances have been continued into modern times, many popular performances of the day, which fell out of the repertoire, now exist only in fragments.… Read the rest here
The opening seasons of the Ballet Russes in Paris was a unique explosion and intermingling of culture, merging east and west into an entirely new modern style. At the head of this movement was Leon Bakst, who was the chief designer for the Ballet Russes from 1909 to 1913. Bakst became synonymous with the Ballet Russes in these opening seasons, as he introduced Europe to the mysterious Russian culture and color palette. Through Bakst’s artistic vision, the Ballet Russes ushered in a new modern era of design by infusing ‘oriental’ aspects into then drab and bland fashions of the day in Paris, which have held lasting influences permeating multiple spheres of society, chiefly every day and high fashion.… Read the rest here
Emerging from Tsarist Russia and the turbulent early years of the twentieth century, the Ballet Russes was a hugely influential and revolutionary era in the arts that altered the interactions of art, music and dance for generations to follow. The ballet troupe lasted from 1909 to 1929 when the impresario Serge Diaghilev unexpectedly died. In order to fully grasp the movement created by Diaghilev it is essential to have a clear understanding of its origins and the motivations behind what became such a diverse array of talents.… Read the rest here
As the Berlin Wall fell, historian Mary Sarotte argues that the then exclusionist US Policy in Europe formed an ‘ordering point’ upon which the excluded Soviet Union forms its foreign policy to this day. The ‘ordering point’, according to Sarotte, is “the historical evidence now available from both Eastern and Western countries shows what alternatives ‘seemed real at the time’, and what chances they had of becoming actual outcomes of the upheaval of 1989.” What we can now see was not clear to individuals at the time, but the way in which these events played out now shapes our understanding of European-US and US-Russian relations.… Read the rest here
Mary Elise Sarotte is a professor at the University of Southern California in their International Relations department. She focuses on Cold War history and especially the post-Cold War period, immediately following the destruction of the Berlin Wall. In her piece, In Victory, Magnanimity: US Foreign Policy, 1989-1991, and the Legacy of Prefabricated Multilateralism, Sarotte discusses the alternative structures that were proposed following the collapse of the Berlin Wall. She discusses four main possibilities, the second of which was proposed by Helmut Kohl, and deemed a revivalist vision.… Read the rest here