Sunday, July 01, 2018
Click-bait. Fake news. Sensationalism.
Online media is rife with problems, and, as a result, it largely gets Russia wrong, painting a uni-dimensional picture of corruption, mafia and dark arts that misrepresents the world’s largest country.
It’s sad, very sad. And dangerous.
We want to tackle this problem head on and we are uniquely positioned to do so.
For 23 years, we have been publishing Russian Life, the only truly independent, English language magazine on the world’s largest country.
While the mainstream media talks only of Russia’s mafia and matryoshkas, of Vladimir and vodka, we orient on Chekhov and centenarians, on language and literature, history and geography.
The nightly news likes cardboard-cutout, cartoonish views of Russia. We prefer a more nuanced, subtle approach that looks at the complexity of the place, at the unique, compelling stories it has to tell.
Does Russia have problems and flaws? Of course it does. Just like any other country or culture. And we don’t gloss over them. But instead of making them the be all and end all of our coverage, we put such issues into perspective, painting a multi-faceted portrait of this thousand-year-old land.
We want to bring this same perspective and approach to the online media space.
Our goal is to extend Russian Life’s publishing footprint, to make it the most interesting, authoritative online outlet on all things Russian.
That is what our new Kickstarter is all about.
So what are we going to do?
In the end, the depth and breadth of what we can achieve will depend on how successful this Kickstarter is and how popular the online site becomes.
But we think it is going to be huge. We think there is great pent-up demand for authentic, interesting, balanced information about Russia. And we want you to be a part of it.
Together, we can create the New Russian Life… one that builds on what we have learned over the last 23 years with the print magazine… one that creates a Russian Life for the next generation – bridging the print and digital divide.
What do you get out of this?
Aside from a newly-enhanced, digital Russian Life platform, you mean?
Well, by supporting our Kickstarter, you will essentially be pre-paying for a one-year online or print+online subscription, demonstrating to us and others that there is support to extend Russian Life in this new direction.
But you also will get some great, Kickstarter-only benefits.
Everyone who backs the project at the Diginaut or higher level will get an offset print (8x10 inches, full color) of the amazing original work of art, “Russian Seasons,” that Yekaterinburg artist Olga Ezova-Denisova is creating especially for this project. (More about Olga and this work in project updates to come.)
If you support the project at higher levels, you can also get one of the books we created in our previous Kickstarter projects.
At still higher levels you can get an original, numbered print of Olga’s artwork, and/or become an active advisor and participant in this new effort.
This is our dream: a dynamic, interesting publication that is as beautiful online as off, that bridges the digital-analog divide, letting readers choose how to receive Russian Life content, be it in through a mailbox by the side of the road, or via the internet superhighway (or both!). We are truly excited about this new development and I hope you will join us in taking Russian Life to the next level.
Call it resilience, grit, or just perseverance – it takes a special sort of person to have survived the last 100 years of Russian and Soviet history.
The Children of 1917 project offers an amazing journey through time. You will learn about the lives of some remarkable survivors: Russians who not only were born in that tumultuous 1917, but who then lived through Civil War, industrialization, collectivization, Stalinism, World War II, the Cold War, Khrushchev, the era of Stagnation, the collapse of the USSR, and the turn of the twenty-first Century.
The story of the epic Spine of Russia trip, intertwining fascinating subject profiles with digressions into historical and cultural themes relevant to understanding modern Russia.