Archive for Potemkinism and Camouflage

The first Potemkin villages are said to have been created by the Russian Prince Grigori Potemkin in the late eighteenth century. As first minister to Catherine the Great, he is reputed to have hired actors and set designers to erect fake pasteboard villages to deceive Catherine and her European guests on their travels through the Ukraine. Whatever the truth of these allegations, the idea of Potemkin villages has since lived on. It was much used against credulous western pilgrims to the Soviet Union, and it has found new applications since the Fall of the Berlin Wall.  The articles gathered here are concerned with the theatricalization of international politics, and closely associated with themes explored both in Iron Curtain: From Stage to Cold War and in its yet uncompleted successor, concerned with western travellers to China in the nineteen fifties. 

Tyneham becomes Tolpuddle for the shooting of Bill Douglas’s Comrades, 1985 (David Appleby)

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Warpaint: Artists and Camouflage »

August 5th, 2002 | Posted in: Articles General, Potemkinism and Camouflage

A radio documentary produced by John Goudie and written and presented by Patrick Wright. First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on 5 August 2002