Russia and Russianness is an intrinsic item on the agenda of both Latvia and the world. The geopolitical processes, the current political rhetoric, the media narratives reminiscent of the Cold War era, the radicalised views of friends and colleagues somehow bring about connotations of the nineteen nineties and the ethnic tension-filled and otherwise politically unpleasant milieu in Latvia at that time.
Amateur videos documenting controversial events and phenomena in Russia, such as mass fist fights, traffic accidents, self-destructive actions, lynching, xenophobia and homophobia are a primary source for this book. The viral nature of these videos turn them into contemporary folklore, which may not provide an explanation, but nevertheless contains some existentially significant and irrational component that may serve as a key to the contemporary Russian cultural discourse.
20-year-old oil transit customs declarations found in an abandoned Russian military oil base near the Russian-Latvian border serve as pages for this book.
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