MOSCOU – Je viens juste de rentrer à Star City (centre de formation des cosmonautes russes) après un long week-end à Moscou, où j’ai été frappée par tout ce qui a changé - et tout ce qui n’a pas bougé - depuis ma première visite, il y a vingt ans, au printemps 1989.

Alors que, dans le métro moscovite, je passai devant un espace publicitaire à vendre, je me souvins avoir dévalé en trombe l’un de ces mêmes escalators si rapides au milieu des années 1990 en compagnie d’un des premiers publicitaires. “Regarde tous ces murs vide !” s’émerveillait-il. “Un jour, ils pourraient être couverts de publicités.” Aujourd’hui c’est chose faite, les publicités sont là, réalisant ses rêves les plus fous. Il y a encore quelques années, j’aurais été ravie de voir un site Internet au milieu de l’une de ces publicités. Aujourd’hui, les URL sont monnaie courante.

En fait, il y quelques années, la compagnie russe de moteur de recherche Yandex (je fais partie de son conseil d’administration) a sorti une publicité qui se moquait gentiment de la vieille habitude d’opacité de la Russie. En bas de chaque escalator du métro moscovite trône une cabine de verre pour le contrôleur de l’escalator – en général une femme renfrognée dont l’unique travail consiste à éteindre l’escalator en cas d’urgence. Un panneau sur la cabine annonce : “le contrôleur de l’escalator ne répond pas aux questions,” dans une formulation toute soviétique qui revient à dire : “Le contrôleur ne donne pas de consultations.”

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