«Работа с сознанием — это прагмема»
М. Мамардашвили

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The Dramaturgy of the Feast

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The feast is one of the rituals of social unification. Yu. A. Galev trains his lens on a great variety of different meetings and feasts. For example, there is a luxury feast with a complex table setting: vases with fruits, flowers, napkins and wine glasses. At weddings and anniversaries, heroes of the occasion and guests sit around the table, set out with familiar food — plates of jellied meat and salads, northen “shan’ga” (savory pies) and purchased sausages. Newlyweds are self-conscious and barely touch the glass. With pleasure the guests eat and drink the moonshine, which is poured out of a brand new teapot.

A holiday celebration of teachers looks different: cans of saury (mackerel pike), mountains of sweets and thick glasses from the cafeteria are reflected on the surface of the fashionable polished table in the teachers’ room. Oddly enough, the cans are not dishes of poverty: during the school hike, for example, they used them to pour broth from the fire into them. This was a feast of happiness. The feast of grief unites relatives in the cemetery. Food is set out on paper on the burial mound "in remembrance": cookies, homemade rolls. Nearby sits an empty bottle of vodka.

A group of young people went on a picnic outside of the village. On the stone in the center of the frame we see the minimum attributes of a feast "on the grass": a bottle, a glass and a box of matches. Obviously, the immutable cultural imperative must be followed: if there is food, drink, and company, there must be a table — at least symbolically.

Whatever the food, it brings together people who participate in eating it. Whether happy or decorous, ceremonial or riotous, carefully prepared or spontaneous, every feast confirms the closeness of colleagues, relatives, classmates and friends.

Inna Veselova, Svetlana Adonyeva
Translation by Laura Olson Osterman, Jessika Aguilar, Alexandra Aleynik