Over the past two centuries, the way people in France have viewed Russia has shifted both frequently and dramatically. However, a special, emotionally charged fascination with the country has remained a constant throughout.
Historian and specialist on Franco-Russian relations Pascal Cauchy will draw upon literature and other art forms to speak about how French views of Russia have evolved over time.
The lecture will be in French, with simultaneous interpretation into Russian provided. We kindly ask you to register here and install Zoom app.
While Marquis de Custine viewed Russia with open hostility in the first third of the 19th century, by 1880 Henri Jean Baptiste Anatole Leroy Beaulieu and Eugène-Melchior de Vogüé were calling for the creation of a Franco Russian alliance.
In the early 20th century, there were conflicting perceptions of Russia. Some were sympathetic to the new Soviet regime, even enthusiastic. Others took a hardline anti-communist position, continuing in the vein of the first French travellers to Russia, and the bleak images they painted.
Representatives from both camps employed grotesque and caricature motifs, with the ideological war extending far beyond academia.
Perestroika was a period marked by feelings of strong mutual sympathy. However, these later cooled off, giving way to scepticism and bewilderment.
Pascal Cauchy is a professor of history, a teacher at the Paris Institute of Political Studies, and a researcher at the Institute of Political Studies’ Centre for History.
The event will be moderated by Eva Bertrand, PhD. Bertrand teaches at the St Petersburg State University of Economics and also works at Expertise France (the French public agency for international technical assistance) as a coordinator for inter-university cooperation in Northwest Russia.
The lecture is being organised in cooperation with the Institut Français as part of the complementary programme for As They See Us. A Portrait of Russia by the Magnum Agency at Manege.