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Country history in 5 minutes: reversion of forms, revision of meanings

In November 2019, the Ukrainian band TNMK released a cartoon video, which presents the history of Ukraine in five minutes. The cartoon is very close to its Belarusian counterpart, which was released in 2011, both in terms of form and content.

The very presentation of information in the form of a video or cartoon is not new and gives an opportunity to recall the high educational mission of Soyuzmultfilm. However, the addressee of the latter was a child, while the "History of the country in 5 minutes" is addressed to a wide audience, primarily young people.

The ever-increasing pace of life, information overload, combination of several types of activities change the perception of a modern man. A short hip-hop style video does not require much intellectual effort, but helps to while away the time of the trip on the subway and can give a pleasant illusion of immersion in history.

The videos posted on YouTube had around two million views. Such popularity is due to a combination of two objective tendencies. On the one hand, with the development of the information society, there is a growing demand for new ways of presentation and disseminating information. On the other hand, such presentation promotes a return to non-systemic, prelogical forms of thinking –its reversion.

Rapid cuts, imagery, multi-layered meanings and minimisation of text actually level out the audience's understanding of cause-and-effect links in the events and phenomena, but give them cognitive acceleration.

The concentrated presentation of the country's history (about 50 stories in five and a half minutes, i.e. 6-7 seconds per story) covers the period from the creation of the world/big bang (the main issue of philosophy and humanity as a whole is solved in different ways in different videos) to the present day. At the same time, the content gives way to a figurative video sequence, and the image is always addressed to the subconscious of a person.

История страны за 5 минут: реверсия форм, ревизия смыслов

Image Despite the concentrated presentation, such videos set only the most general outline of phenomena, eras and events. At the same time, any of the fifty topics presented in one video can be further "unpacked" by the user. This opens up both new horizons in the development of public consciousness and the risks associated with the "background" presentation of history, deliberate distortion of information, and the imposition of alien meanings and interpretations.

In this regard, filling the media space with own qualitative content becomes one of the most up-to-the-minute but not yet sufficiently developed areas in the state information policy. The art of "small information forms" in a national project scale can become one of the factors in the formation of a stable self-awareness and identity of Belarusian society.