Sonja Pietiläinen
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The new Russian civilisation
Arctic fossil fuels, white masculinity and the neo-fascist visual politics of the Izborskii Club
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This chapter explores how the far right’s visual politics regarding Arctic fossil fuels produce white masculine notions of national identity and, reciprocally, how ideas of white masculine national identity justify fossil fuel extraction. It does so by examining the neo-fascist Izborskii Club, an intellectual organisation that is one of the most prominent far-right organisations in Russia. The club promotes authoritarianism, anti-liberalism and ethnonationalism, and plays an influential role in defining the national imaginary as it operates in tandem with the authoritarian Russian state. Visual content analysis and iconographical interpretation show that the club portrays the Arctic in the context of technological and scientific activity and defines nature in terms of its untapped potentialities for economic growth. Although the images and the text attempt to mobilise sentiments of national unity, the nation was defined in exclusive and illiberal terms based on class, race, and gender. The exploitation of Arctic fossil fuels was justified because it is the common ‘dream’ of the Russian nation, which was further emphasised by highlighting the symbolic and emotional value of fossil fuels. Arctic oil and gas were framed as the means to fulfil Russian destiny and thus to achieve the fascist goal of national rebirth.

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Visualising far-right environments

Communication and the politics of nature


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