In-between generations.

Previously on autoethnography in Moscow: Day 1. I arrive in Moscow for a week to take a closer look at the roots of cultural structures I still have inside of me despite living most of my life in Germany (and to visit friends and family).

Day 2, 3 and 4. I encountered how a political system is embodied in work ethics. And how a generational conflict can be seen everywhere, including family, music and contemporary art.

When visiting my family I get an instant update on everyone’s problems. My sister recently quit her job for various reasons. Sound reasons, in my eyes. My grandmother cannot understand why she is not taking some sort of work, just not to be unemployed. At first it simply sounded like a conflict between generations. But after considering some conversations I found a political system at work. My grandmother was born in 1932. So, practically she spent all of her life in a system where work was above all. Having no work was inconceivable. In Soviet times you had to pay penalties for your own unemployment; you even could have been put into jail. “He who does not work, neither shall he eat.” A passage from the bible interestingly found in the roots of socialism as Lenin himself imagined it. A fusion of religion and atheism under the same motto.

To get my head clear of other people’s problems, I go to a jazz concert. It was in a small club and while waiting for the second part of the performance, I observe the audience. I am sort of astonished. Most of the people looked like they were at an Eminem show. I wondered whether jazz fans in Russia have another dress code. But when the band entered the stage, they were accompanied by a hip hopper and the result was amazing. It was a fusion of old and new, combined to the genre of Jazz rap. To quote Wikipedia: “[…] the genre ‘was an attempt to fuse African-American music of the past with a newly dominant form of the present, paying tribute to and reinvigorating the former while expanding the horizons of the latter’.”


While listening to the music I think about different approaches to being in-between generations. Yes, the one has all the energy but not the wisdom, the other has the experience but not the impartiality towards the world. Probably conflicts between generations are as archaic as there are humans. They occur within one single culture, within one single family. But instead of conflict one might think of it as a fusion.

When arriving home, I search Spotify for Jazz rap music. Here is a treat I want to share with you.

This post ist part of the Blogging 101 task and I shall identify my ideal audience in this post. To be honest my ideal audience does not have a dress code yet. At least, I am not aware of it. So, if you enjoyed this post, please leave a comment telling me who you are.