What might we mean by monoculture? What is the impetus for ‘identitarian’ or nationalistic monoculture movements who do not see, or wish, their society to be pluralistic, not just in the context of Europe but globally? Might we locate positive or even emancipatory aspirations of monoculture? Might a culturally homogeneous society also be inclusive and transformational? What lies at the fringes of monoculture, and what does it not tolerate? What may be the position of the arts within the context of monocultural ideology? Or alternatively, how might the arts look under monocultural ideology when taken to its logical conclusion?


Sovkaartb scan: (c) M HKA
Circus, 1936
Film , 14.2 x 9.4 cm

This advertising postcard features a scene from the popular Soviet melodramatic musical film Цирк (Circus) released in 1936. The film tells the story of an American circus actress who flees from racism in the US after giving birth to a black child. Embraced by the friendliness of multi-ethnic Soviet society, she and her son eventually find their happiness in the USSR. The reverse side of the postcard has the lyrics and music score of the most famous song in the film: Song of the Motherland, which became extremely popular in the USSR. The melody of the song appears throughout the film, including the final scene of a grandiose parade on Red Square. The lyrics on the reverse read:

Wide is my Motherland,
Of her many forests, fields, and rivers!
I know of no other such country
Where a man can breathe so freely