In this article, the author addresses the issue of flash animation and humour in computer-mediated communication. He traces Russian national graphic traditions of humour and publicity and provides historical insight into the aesthetics of flash animation. He also suggests a notion of the video anekdot, a form of flash animation that relies on the tradition of oral humorous performances that proliferated in the USSR as an attempt to overcome state censorship. With the abolishing of censorship, the anekdot continues to exist on the internet in the form of short flash animation films. The author analyses new structures of the anekdot and its relation to the previous forms of humorous and satirical art (lubok, the Soviet poster and caricature). Reflecting on the dominating themes and narrative structures of the video anekdot, he concludes with general remarks on transformations in Russian culture in regard to its traditions of oral performance and visual representations.
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Russian flash animation