“The Legacy of the 1917 February Revolution in Contemporary Russia and the wider world”
On the 7th February 2017 Dr Matt Rendle, University of Exeter and Dr Norman La Porte both gave talks on “The Legacy of the 1917 February Revolution in Contemporary Russia and the wider world”. The talk in the Old Debating Chamber of the National Assembly of Wales saw the chamber filled to capacity by a general audience and a number of schools including Howells, Monmouth and Cardiff and Vale College. Some of these students also asked questions at the end. The event was chaired by David Melding AM. The event was sponsored by the University of South Wales Humanities Research Institute
Dr Matt Rendle’s, one of the UK’s leading Russian historians noted the following points in his talk:
The centenary of the Russian Revolution marks a major opportunity for reflection across the world as the global influence of 1917 is undisputed, not least as the origins of world’s first communist state. In Russia itself, however, there is uncertainty over how 1917 will be commemorated. Putin has agreed that it was too important to ignore, but it is clear that 1917 does not fit into the ‘useable’ past forged in Russia since 2000. The February Revolution is unpalatable as it championed western democratic values, whilst the October Revolution remains contentious as the source of the Soviet Union, whose legacy continues to divide Russians. In addition, the whole concept of revolution is feared after the ‘colour’ revolutions on Russia’s periphery across the last decade and the global impact of the Arab Spring. Nevertheless, 1917 is still invoked frequently by Putin to justify actions, whether in Ukraine or clamping down on civil unrest or terrorism. In this talk, Dr Matt Rendle will explore the legacy of 1917 in contemporary Russia and will examine how Russia might commemorate its centenary.
His talk went on to cover:
◦ The creation of a ‘useable’ past in contemporary Russia
◦ Putin’s views on 1917 and how this fits into his world view
◦ The legacy of 1917 and the USSR within Russia
◦ The legacy of 1917 in Russia’s relations with the wider world
◦ How Russia may commemorate the centenary of 1917
Dr Norman LaPorte a Reader in History at the University of South Wales then gave a talk on the impact of the February Revolution in UK at the time and provided a number of researched examples from the time.
The photo of three people standing show – David Melding AM, Dr Norman La Porte and Dr Matt Rendle
The event was sponsored by University of South Wales Humanities Research Institute