War in a society of spectators
Russian society’s perception of the invasion of Ukraine is strikingly incompatible with the actual events. This article reflects on the surreal representation of Ukrainian war in Russian media and its powerful grip on a large part of the nation. Socialised in a universe of propaganda and conspiracy theories, the Russian citizenry appears simultaneously cynical and gullible, and above all highly receptive to Kremlin’s manipulations. Succumbing to this conspiratorial universe of meaning alters one’s perception of the world. Thus, on the one hand, the feeling of reality is diminished, to the extent that the Ukrainian people’s war suffering is rendered merely a performance by crisis actors, while the extensive destruction of Ukrainian cities is seen as staged film sets. On the other hand, the feeling of reality is heightened and charged with mysterious signification, generating a sense of a crystal-clear sight into the nature of politics and society. To understand the human experiential stance in this surreal world of virtual representation, the article engages with psychiatrist Iain McGilchrist’s (2019, 2021) and clinical psychologist Louis Sass’ (2017) exploration of schizophrenia in modern society.
Copyright (c) 2022 Florentina C. Andreescu
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