Galina Orlova
2019 Praktiki & interpretacii  
This article is about how bodies, camera and newspaper make the post-Soviet state and social changes of the 90s visible. It tells a history of the awkwardness revealed in the act of photographing. The author works with the letters and photographs that the readers of Komsomolskaya Pravda sent to the hybrid beauty contest Miss KP announced by the newspaper between 1996 and 2000. Awkwardness or incompleteness, ineptitude, inaccuracy of embodiment is found in the discursive figures of the letters,
more » ... es of the letters, in the incoherent juxtaposition of texts and photographs, and in the techniques of the photographic posing. In the varieties of awkwardness, the author discovers the effects of the post-Soviet experimentation with revealing the self through the embodiment and corporal tactics of mastering the new in a situation where body patterns of dignity, success, beauty, attractiveness, actualized in posing in front of the camera, change. The perspective given by the body culture studies and visual studies is combined here with the analytics of interdiscursivity and media. This combination allows formulating and answering on the basis of the empirical material the following questions: how do people get involved in social changes and participate in them through their bodies? How do the transformations and shifts of the first postSoviet decade manifest themselves through the bodily practices in general and the photographic posing for a beauty contest in particular? How do the contemporaries of the Soviet Union collapse re-opened their bodies anew, voluntarily or involuntarily? The text consists of three parts. First, the concept of awkwardness is specified through its connection with the embodiment. Then the beauty contest of Komsomolskaya Pravda is described in its heterogeneity as a dispositive of the post-Soviet changes. And finally, the manifestations of awkwardness captured in competitive photographs and provoked in front of the camera come into focus.
doi:10.23683/2415-8852-2019-1-29-53 fatcat:ch5o6dllzfbbzgqh4ddimozgzq