Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Some Two and Three Finger connections in Art, History and Popular culture

In the latest sequel to The Hunger Games, the Three Finger Salute was deployed as sign of RESISTANCE to OPPRESSION.

Here actress Jennifer Lawrence, acting as Katniss Everdeen, gives the sign of solidarity with her District 12 brethren.

Watching this scene in the second HUNGER GAMES movie immediately reminded me of a bit of Russian History and art that also employed three and two finger salutes meaningfully. The Russian version uses a two finger salute as a sign of resistance rather than three. Russians who supported the OLD BELIEVERS used two fingers to make the sign of the Cross.
The woman being dragged in the makeshift cart is a defiant Russian noble giving the sign of the cross with two fingers, instead of with the newly mandated three fingers as per the Russian Orthodox Church. Look at the magnified image below that shows this more clearly and also captures the look of shock of those surrounding her.
Painting by Vasily Surikov, title: Boyarynya Morozova. 1887.
Boyars were Russian nobles. This Boyarina had been involved with a group that championed the ideas and values of the OLD BELIEVERS, then outlawed by the Czar. With shackles on her wrists and being dragged to prison for her recalcitrance, the Boyarija issues her challenge to the Kremlin..
Note the beggar on the bottom right making the same defiant gesture as the Boyarina. These gestures are done in the face of a mocking crowd on one side and a visibly downcast and somber group of supporters to the right. The artist made this painting in the 1880s and resurrected the earlier example of defiance against the Russian govt. from 200 years earlier to take a jab at the Tsar's oppressive measures that were being implemented in the late 1800s.

The image below shows the newly required three finger sign of the cross required by Russian Orthodox Church in the late 1600s. This and other reforms were undertaken to bring the Russian Orthodox Church in line with the mother church: Greek Orthodox. The Old Believers made their allegiances known by making the two finger sign of the cross. This was a challenge not only to the Russian Orthodox church, but to the entire Russian govt under the leadership of the Czar. HERE is a great article about an OLD BELIEVER COMMUNITY in Alaska that persists today !
Three finger sign of the cross instituted in 1600s Russia.

Here's another use of TWO FINGERS

During WORLD WAR TWO, the "V" sign stood for VICTORY. Here we see England's Prime Minister Winston Churchill giving the VICTORY Sign to boost morale in the face of Nazi aggression. 

THEN.....came the 1960s....and the two fingers changed meaning

Yoko Ono and John Lennon. The "V" for victory came to symbolize PEACE by the late 1960s.

1960s HIPPIE deploying their two fingered peace sign.

President of the United States RICHARD NIXON using the peace sign during his 1968 run for the presidency.

WHY did the TWO FINGERs change meaning???? Click on THIS ARTICLE: it Pretty much tells you all about it. ENJOY ! ! 
BUT....BEFORE YOU GO..... Ponder this.... WHY is JUSTIN BIEBER FLashing these TWO FINGERS?

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