The National Bolshevik Party, founded in the mid-1990s by Eduard Limonov and Aleksandr Dugin, began as an attempt to combine radically different ideologies. In the years that followed, Limonov, Dugin, and the movements they led underwent dramatic shifts. The two leaders eventually became political adversaries, with Dugin and his organizations strongly supporting Putin's regime while Limonov and his groups became part of the liberal opposition.
To illuminate the role of these right-wing ideas in contemporary Russian society, Fabrizio Fenghi examines the public pronouncements and aesthetics of this influential movement. He analyzes a diverse range of media, including novels, art exhibitions, performances, seminars, punk rock concerts, and even protest actions. His interviews with key figures reveal an attempt to create an alternative intellectual class, or a "counter-intelligensia." It Will Be Fun and Terrifying: Nationalism and Protest in Post-Soviet Russia (U Wisconsin Press, 2020) shows how certain forms of art can transform into political action through the creation of new languages, institutions, and modes of collective participation.
Fabrizio Fenghi is an assistant professor of Slavic studies at Brown University specializing in contemporary Russian culture and politics, with a specific focus on the relationship between art and literature and the shaping of post-Soviet public culture.
Steven Seegel is Professor of Slavic and Eurasian Studies at The University of Texas at Austin.