This book explores how queerness and representations of queerness in media and culture are responding to the shifting socio-political, cultural and legal conditions in post-Soviet Russia, especially in the light of the so-called ‘antigay’ law of 2013. Based on extensive original research, the book outlines developments historically both before and after the fall of the Soviet Union and provides the background to the 2013 law. It discusses the proliferating alternative visions of gender and sexuality, which are increasingly prevalent in contemporary Russia. The book considers how these are represented in film, personal diaries, photography, theatre, protest art, fashion and creative industries, web series, news media and how they relate to the ‘traditional values’ rhetoric. Overall, the book provides a rich and detailed, yet complex insight into the developing nature of queerness in contemporary Russia.

Introduction Galina Miazhevich 1. Queer first-person life writing in post-Soviet Russia: Between symbol and secret Brian James Baer 2. Queer readings of Soviet children’s films, 1931–1954 Alexandra Ihnatovich 3. Representations of female masculinity in Soviet history, or visibility of diversity through art practice Victoria Suvoroff 4. Transgression and the social body in Petr Pavlensky and Seroe Fioletovoe’s political performance art Alice E. M. Underwood 5. A quare story of the North Caucasian lesbian and trans women in the staging of The Voices Tatiana Klepikova 6. Russia as the West’s queer other: Gosha Rubchinskiy’s politics of fashion Maria Engström 7. Queer economics: Worlds, appearances, and the symbolic exchange Vlad Strukov 8. Lesbian love stories and online popular culture: The case of web series Saara Ratilainen 9. Queering #MeToo: Russian media discourse on same-sex sexual harassment in the context of a global anti-harassment movement Olga Andreevskikh Afterword: Making Russia queerer, or the strange paradox of President Putin’s incitement to discourse Dan Healey