This article analyses the proliferation of imaginaries of ‘revolution’ present in global media around the October Revolution’s 100th anniversary in 2017. The October Revolution stands alongside the French Revolution as a model that guides sense-making about revolutionary moments since. Yet this anniversary fell against a backdrop marked by a set of highly contested recent revolutions, notably the post-Cold War Colour Revolutions in post-Soviet countries and Arab uprisings, and voluminous public analyses of contemporary Russian politics. Taking media as resources for informed citizenship, analysis of 114 English language news stories from 26 countries of the centenary demonstrates that audiences were offered varied and ambivalent representations of both revolution and its mechanisms and of Russia and its relations with other countries. Following Moretti I argue that, together, these formed a textual ‘world effect’ of 1917 as an event that constituted a global experience entangling all societies – and that 1917 is unfinished, either due to continued direct effects on migration, geopolitics and economics, or by continuing to inspire visions of political transformation beyond the West.
- news media
- media events