The chapter identifies an artistic tendency that emerged in the 1960s that I
call, following art critic Iurii Gerchuk, ‘neodecorativism’ — a set of
artistic strategies to redefine the meaning of decoration and
reconceptualise applied art as decorative. Comparing works of applied art
from the early and the late 1960s, the chapter reveals the techniques that
the artists used to criticise the state-sponsored campaign to improve
consumer culture. Far from being a tool of the Party and the government,
Soviet decorative art in the late 1960s became a forum for commentary on the
fundamental challenges of Soviet modernity and explored the language of
postmodernism. It raised such questions as the place of individuality in the
world of uniform mass production and consumption, the fate of traditional
crafts in the industrial age, the role of diverse folk motifs in Soviet
cultural internationalism and the meaning of sincerity and spirituality in a
socialist society guided by Party dogmas. Working within the framework of
Soviet institutions and policy guidelines, decorative artists and critics of
the 1960s advocated the personal freedom of artists and of ordinary people
without, however, explicitly resorting to the language of human rights and
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In this chapter, the author, through a family history, speaks of how forced exile persists through generations. He narrates the series of events that took place after he left England and moved to United States, including the catastrophic failures of nuclear reactors. The discussion largely focuses on the incidence of cancers caused by exposure to radioactivity in England, and the impact it had on Anglo-American relations. The author also showcases the differences between English and American cultures.
In this chapter, the author discusses the cultural life in Rochester, New York, in the 1920s. The city of the 1920s is often referred to as 'Mr Eastman's town'. Economically, the first three decades of the twentieth century had been described as Rochester's golden age, and the centrality of Eastman-Kodak to the city's prosperity had important cultural consequences. The establishment by George Eastman of the Eastman School of Music and the Eastman Theatre in 1922 was the single most important event marking the 'end of provincialism'. The 'Rochester Renaissance' owed a lot to Eastman's wealth and philanthropy .
In this chapter, the author explains the internment of aliens in Britain during the Second World War. The 'internment of aliens' is a peculiar and rather hysterical measure taken by the British government after Dunkirk. The author describes his father as an alien. He is alien to Britain and to English culture. He came to Britain from Germany in February 1938, was a class C 'enemy alien' (recognised as a genuine refugee, and officially designated a 'friendly' enemy alien). The classifications were made by wartime tribunals set up in Britain in 1939.