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1917. Free History

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Have you ever wondered what it would be like if Tsar Nicholas II, Vladimir Lenin, and Grigori Rasputin had access to social media during the Russian Revolution of 1917? A team of Russian writers, artists, and software developers, with the support from the State Archive of Russian Federation, the Russian State Archive of Literature and Art, and a number of other museums and institutions, have endeavored to do just that with 1917. Free History. This project explores the tumultuous events of 1917 through a series of imaginary social media accounts that feature actual archival material authored by key players in the revolution. Each day, the website is updated with a series of posts that include the content of letters, artwork, and news items from exactly a century ago. (For example, if you visit this website on February 24, 2017, you will see items from February 24, 1917). On February 17, Paul Klee posts his painting "Wanderer-birds," Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovich pens a letter to Nicholas II, and Lenin rails about "[w]hat a swine Trotsky is." Facebook users may share these updates on their own newsfeeds, creating a unique way for individuals today to engage with history. This website is translated into English courtesy of the Pushkin State Russian Language Institute.
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GEM Subject
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Scout Publication
Date of Scout Publication 2017-02-24
Archived Scout Publication URL https://scout.wisc.edu/report/2017/0224

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