She’s In Russia is a podcast about Russia. Co-hosted by Olivia Capozzalo (St. Petersburg) and Smith Freeman (Brooklyn), She’s In Russia aims to bring a more nuanced image of Russia and Russians to a Western audience. The podcast has taken an in-depth look at everything from the life and music of Viktor Tsoi to the trash protests outside of Moscow, to the government-blocking of the encrypted messenger app Telegram.
This week, they address the image and history of the gopnik. Popularized in 2012 on 4chan with memes like “why do slavs squat?”, the gopnik seems to be one of the few images Americans have of Russians. But before the meme, there was a whole etymology and history of “gopnik” dating as far back as tzarist times.