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Difficult heritage of Soviet Era: legacy, interpretation, appropriation

20 May 2014
Ex Boccherini - Piazza S. Ponziano 6 (Conference Room )
Current cultural agenda of Putin‘s Russia comprises a diverse range of historical arguments as well as practical steps directed to revitalization of neo-imperial aspirations. What place in those plans is given to Soviet legacy? We are the witnesses of purposeful selection and actualization of iconic symbols, signs and rhetoric tropes from Soviet “golden canon”. We should bear in mind that during the last twenty years the rest of post-Soviet space developed its own attitudes toward common Soviet past. These center/periphery controversies still provoke debates, conflicts and mutual mistrust. As a result of Soviet Union collapse newly emerged states felt an urge to justify its own right to independence and cultural distinctiveness. Some of them (as Baltic states) preferred a thorough rejection of Soviet legitimacy, while other members of ‘imperial family’ demonstrated less accentuated animosity; third option would be distinguished as continuity of Soviet sociability patterns (as in Belarus). The general intention of the public lecture would be critical overview of accomplished or attempted appropriations and management of Soviet experience in the public discourse. Tangible and intangible remnants of Soviet modernization and inherited living landscape were chosen as an object of analysis. During the presentation our attempts will focus on variety of Communist inheritance in post-Soviet public space. The concept of Soviet heritage as dissonant and contested will be discussed. A typology of Soviet material heritage will be proposed. Particular examples from the region will be discussed. The ways of interpretation, preservation and adaptation of ‘Socialist era’ heritage will be presented.
Cepaitiene, Rasa