This article examines the state of cultural change management during the perestroika, the relationship between authority and the artistic intelligentsia, which is traditionally an instrument of party policy. The problem is investigated on the materials of the republic of Tatarstan.
The period of perestroika (1985–1991) is characterized by fundamental changes in government. Reform of M.Gorbachev led to the transformation of the Soviet system and society. Party Soviet leadership proclaimed a new policy development. One of the most important principles of the restructuring in the social and cultural sphere has been the policy of glasnost (publicity). Glasnost included freedom of speech, the ability of public and open discussion of pressing social problems. Artistic intelligentsia starts using these capabilities.
However, Gorbachev’s policy of glasnost and democratization had many contradictions in the implementation. Party’s policy in the field of culture had a number of features in a regional perspective. Freedom of creative expression for the regional artistic elite was significantly limited.
The “democratization” in the sphere of culture presented as a myth or illusion. That is, on the one hand – in science and art is addressed to the previously taboo topics to previously closed pages of Soviet history, etc. On the other hand – is retained tight control in the field of cultural communication, attention to the representatives of the authorities of the artistic intelligentsia continues unabated. In fact, the party leadership is not ready to speak openly about the problems of modernity.
A striking example of inconsistency and lack of glasnost implementation during the first step is to report events of the Chernobyl disaster, which occurred on April 26, 1986. In addition, the local press reported about authorities silencing of nuclear accident “Tri-Mail-Island” in 1979 . Thus, through a critique of the foreign countries past the masses were distracted from their own problems of the present. The Chernobyl disaster has become both a symbol of technological policy of “acceleration” failure and the policy of glasnost.
Also contrary to the glasnost and declared at the XXVII Congress of the need to respect the right of every people to freely choose their own destiny and the like, culture and the media continued to develop the former trend of criticism of foreign countries. This is reflected in Kazan press. In “Evening Kazan” 1986 in the article “Straitjacket for dissent” reports on the use in Japan of psychiatry for political and social repression . Similar news used to attenuate attention to their own identity issues. The practice of psychiatric hospitals in politically unreliable public and cultural figures kept and has application in 1986. Only reduced its scale.
Initially, many intellectuals positively evaluated the policy of glasnost. This is reflected in the letters, petitions addressed to the secretaries of the regional committee of Tatarstan. So in the name of R. Belyaev, the second secretary of the regional committee, G. Kaybitskaya, the former actress of Opera theatre, sent a request for awarding her the title of People’s Artist of the USSR which was not awarded to her due to the vestiges of the personality cult. Herewith Kaybitskaya appealed to Mr. Gorbachev’s report: “I heard repeatedly on television the words of our Party Secretary”, Mikhail Gorbachev. His kind words inspired my heart. He said: “Write us, we will consider your request”. . This and similar petitions are the evidences of Party trust, intelligentsia hopes for reforming in the field of culture through the policy of glasnost.
The responses of the regional committee are baseless rebuttal of facts which are indicated in letters, complaints and petitions by intellectuals. For example, in the letter of anonymous writers “unhealthy atmosphere in the Writers’ Union of Tatarstan”, the authors’ oppression, tyranny and incompetence of T. Minnulin, chairman of the Writers’ Union of Tatarstan, are illuminated. The authors reveal the unfair treatment to many writers, including D. Valeev, A. Mushinskomu and others . In its response, the regional committee denied Minnullin’s prosecution of the authors mentioned in the letter. The response states: “The authors of the letter have misunderstood Valeyev’s behavior, limiting it only by unhealthy relationship with T. Minnulin” . The regional committee representatives explain objective problems exclusively due to subjective reasons, i.e. abnormal personal relationship in the team.
The famous writer, playwright and social activist D. Valeev felt the pressure of the bureaucracy, expressed in relation to his works. D. Valeev’s plays “1887”, about the gathering at the Kazan University, which was attended by the student Vladimir Ulyanov; “Day X”, about the Musa Jalil’s feat (Tatar poet, who died in German prison), were fundamentally analyzed by the Marxism-Leninism experts, and finally corrected before going on stage. D.Valeev’s fighting for his own ideas ended tragically for his creative life. Long confrontation with T. Minnulin, the chairman of the Union of Writers of Tatarstan and R. Belyaev, the secretary of regional committee party, led to the banning of staging in March 1987 by the first secretary of Party Committee of Tatarstan G. Usmanov . Thus, proclaimed glasnost, freedom of speech and expression of thoughts at the initial stage of perestroika were theoretical. Party’s negative attitude to Valeev is largely due to his human rights work that he began in times before perestroika.
Thus, perestroika extended the possibilities of the artistic intelligentsia. Intensified international cultural relations, the public have been presented previously banned works of literature, movies, etc., in the discussions brought out critical problems of society. However, the study of archival documents, memoirs, periodicals and analytical literature, suggests the presence of contradictions between the proclaimed rate and the actual implementation of the ideological and cultural policies of perestroika. Unilateralism previous criticism of Brezhnev, Stalin courses; conceal of the authorities of the disaster at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant; use of psychiatric hospitals as prisons for dissidents; active counter-propaganda and criticism of foreign countries in the official media; harassment of the artistic intelligentsia engaged in human rights activities, etc. –are indicators of trends conservation authorities ideological control that a period of perestroika through its further transformation fails.
The work is submitted to the International Scientific Conference “Russia cultural heritage and the modern world”, London, October 18–25, 2014, came to the editorial office оn 11.08.2014.