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Orthodoxy pioneered the use of icons for narrating religion to illiterate masses.

To many Russian faithful still, these pictures don’t just show the sacred, they it: a second, visual Gospel, sharing the authority and infallibility of the first.

All those modern propaganda posters and imposing Red Square pageants draw on the same tradition: that seeing induces believing. And a picture must never be left to speak for itself.

Russia now is a story told in pictures, still and moving.

Everybody knows about Putin’s anti-gay law, because it’s been at the top of the news, gay and straight, for two weeks running; and if you’ve been following this even slightly, you’ve seen images like these — of homophobes brutally abusing Russian queers. Clips and snapshots keep cropping up on Western blogs.

Last modified 13-Mar-2016 22:32