International conference "Collective Memory in Contemporary Russia: The Soviet Past in Post-Soviet Context(s)"

Konferensen anordnas på engelska.

The conference will take a hybrid form, with both travelling and zoom participants.

Controversies about the Soviet past – both its tragic and its heroic pages – were central to political, cultural and public life in the USSR on the verge of its dissolution. Today, as we approach the 30th anniversary of the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia once again appears to be moving down the road of authoritarianism. Importantly, (positive) re-evaluations of the Soviet past play a crucial role in Russia’s ‘conservative’ turn. Various mnemonic actors deploy particular visions of the past to justify certain political stances, including the Russian Orthodox Church, the Memorial Society, the Russian Military-Historical Society and others. More broadly, the question of how to remember certain pages of the Soviet past has become the source of international tension and conflict in the post-Communist space.

‘Collective Memory in Contemporary Russia: The Soviet Past in Post-Soviet Context(s)’ focuses on multiple aspects of how the Soviet past is remembered in today’s Russia. The aim is to examine Russia’s collective memory of the Soviet according to its various layers: (a) ‘the official’: organized by various state bodies from textbooks in schools to museum exhibitions; (b) ‘the cultural’: emerging in films, TV, books, media, documentaries; (c) ‘the popular’: predominant representations of the past that are successfully reproduced and transmitted in social groups. Particular attention is paid to how several key historical junctures related to the Soviet past are remembered in contemporary Russia such as: the 1917 revolutions and World War II, the Stalinist repressions and the turbulent transition out of the USSR, including the 1990s.

Join on zoom with this link:

If you wish to attend in person, please email Mattias Vesterlund as spaces are limited:

The event is funded by Riksbanken Jubileumsfond and the Uppsala Forum on Democracy, Peace and Justice.

Ytterligare information