On April, 3 contents of the new “Fundamentals of the state cultural policy” developed by the Russian Ministry of Culture were announced in Russian media. Drafters believe that the basis of cultural policy should be based on the “Russia is not Europe” statement. They also call to abandon the principles of multiculturalism and tolerance , and all projects that are not consistent with the traditional values should be deprived of state support.
“Russia should be considered as a unique and distinctive civilization, which can not be reduced either to “the West” or to “the East”. Brief statement of this position is the thesis “Russia is not Europe”, confirmed by the whole history of the country and its people”, Infobox reports, quoting Interfax news agency.
“It seems appropriate to include in the document the thesis of renouncing the principles of multiculturalism and tolerance. Preserving a single cultural code requires rejection of state support for cultural projects which impose alien to society values,” the document says.
“Any reference to “creative freedom”and “national identity” can not justify behavior which is considered unacceptable from the standpoint of traditional Russian values. This is not meant to limit the freedom of expression and the rights of citizens, but requires denial of state support for people and communities, demonstrating behaviour contrary to the cultural norms”, the drafters write.
Alien values, according to the authors of the document, lead to “mental distress, which is manifested through an increase in crimes, alcoholism, drug addiction, through the increase in the number of suicides and abandoned children, through increased morbidity and mortality”.
The draft also says that representatives of contemporary art, whose work contradict the traditional values, can not count on state support. Projects should be selected in conjunction with the expert community, the drafters believe. “As a minimum, such art should not receive government support. As a maximum, the state should prevent [its] negative impact on public consciousness”, the text says.
In general, it is proposed to develop the cultural policy based on “civilization” principle, which the authors believe to be the opposite of the “liberal pro-Western” approach which supposedly idealizes Western path of development.
The document was signed by First Deputy Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation Vladimir Aristarkhov and submitted for consideration to the Presidential Administration of the Russian Federation . The project will also be presented to the public later in April.
Artwork by Queerussia
UPDATED APRIL 13, 2014: Full text of the draft is officially published here (in Russian).