E-Mail: iuliiask [at] sas.upenn.edu
The perception of the USSR among Kharkiv city dwellers in 2015-2016
Popular memory about the Soviet past has become the focus of various political manipulation techniques up to being seen as an instrument in contemporary warfare. While political elites of the states that emerged after the dissolution of the USSR are producing and communicating the narratives they find fit to achieve their goals, the actual mechanisms shaping the way people remember their Soviet past still require further research. My project focuses on a moment and place of high tensions within Ukrainian society, the city of Kharkiv in 2015, one year into the war and right after the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted the package of the Decommunization Laws aimed among other things at tackling nostalgia for the USSR. I demonstrate, however, that nostalgia is not an effective tool in gaining an understanding of how Kharkovites perceived their Soviet past at that time, while a more thorough study of the reasons for the way they made sense of the past could become a more solid ground for a dialogue between the state and the people.
During her guest stay at the ZZF Potsdam Iuliia Skubytska was researching in the department "Society and Communism".