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Perestroïka et glasnost : les nouvelles formes de culture et de discours politiques de la fin des années quatre-vingt en Asie centrale

And Our Words Must be Constructive!” On the Discordances of Glasnost’ in the Central Asian Press at a Time of Conflict

« Et nos paroles doivent être constructives ». Les discordances de la glasnost dans la presse d’Asie centrale au moment d’un conflit
«И слово нужно конструктивное». О диссонансах гласности в прессе Центральной Азии в период конфликта
Madeleine Reeves
p. 77-110

Abstracts

This article explores the unmaking of authoritative discourse in the Central Asian press during perestroika. Studies of the Soviet press have often drawn attention to the momentous changes brought about by Gorbachev’s policy of glasnost’ in the second half of the 1980s. This article considers how such changes were reflected in the reporting of one significant event of inter-communal and trans-boundary conflict along the borders of the Kyrgyz and Tajik ssrs in 1989. Through a close analysis of the differential reporting of events in central, republican and provincial press, the article argues for the need to ‘provincialise’ our account of perestroika: that is, to attend to its differential dynamics in different parts of the Soviet Union, and the implications for journalists and editors negotiating the demands of ‘constructive speech’ at a time of mounting commentary on the relationship between truth, rumour and inter-ethnic conflict.

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Excerpt

Full text document will be published online on November 2017.

Outline

Provincialising Perestroika
Discordant Glasnost’
The Isfara Events
Navigating the Limits of Glasnost’: Narrating and Suppressing Conflict
Conclusion

First lines

The prestige of [journalism] is falling catastrophically. [...] People are eagerly looking for the figure of an enemy. Of a slanderer (očernitelâ) and distorter. Of a mudslinger and a firebrand. Since the signing of the resolution on glasnost’ at the 19th Party conference it hasn’t got any easier. It’s got harder. Since now with one hand you can hang rags from the front of buildings with the slogan “Perestroika, glasnost’, uskorenie [acceleration]” and with the other hand you can clamp the mouth of anyone wanting to tell the truth (Kozlinksij, 1989).

The possibility, the necessity to speak and write about things that are really occurring – this is the great victory of our perestroika. The more openly we will talk about them, the more we collectively benefit, and the fewer will be the gossips, the bureaucrats, the makers of empty promises. But the strength of our word is in truth, objectivity, precision; it is in our exactingness (vzyskatel’nosti) and relentless verifying of informati...

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References

Bibliographical reference

Madeleine Reeves, « And Our Words Must be Constructive!” On the Discordances of Glasnost’ in the Central Asian Press at a Time of Conflict », Cahiers d’Asie centrale, 26 | 2016, 77-110.

Electronic reference

Madeleine Reeves, « And Our Words Must be Constructive!” On the Discordances of Glasnost’ in the Central Asian Press at a Time of Conflict », Cahiers d’Asie centrale [Online], 26 | 2016, Online since 01 November 2017, connection on 18 August 2017. URL : http://asiecentrale.revues.org/3259

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About the author

Madeleine Reeves

Madeleine Reeves is Senior Lecturer in Social Anthropology at the University of Manchester, and editor of Central Asian Survey. Her interests lie in the anthropology of the state, space, mobility and bureaucracy. She is the author of Border Work: Spatial Lives of the State in Rural Central Asia (Cornell 2014) and co-editor, most recently, of Affective States: Entanglements, Suspensions, Suspicions, a special issue of Social Analysis, with Mateusz Laszczkowski. Contact: madeleine.reeves@manchester.ac.uk

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