Scientific articles

Reconstruction of contested history Vilnius, 1939–1949

The narrative in this article is based on a reconstruction of my personal curatorial experience while working on the exhibition “A Difficult Age: Vilnius, 1939–1949”. The exhibition’s chronological framework – 1939 to 1949 – was established with a focus on historical realities and aimed to frame the narrative of the guest exhibition. The public knowledge of the history of multi-national Vilnius is full of conscious and unconscious omissions, in large part caused by oblivion, but no less by the unwillingness to remember, ignorance, and the refusal to know or even fear of finding out. The narrative based on the history of visual art and artists’ lives is a way to bring up controversial topics and open new perspectives.

By Giedre Jankeviciute No Comments on Reconstruction of contested history

BRINGING BACK THE SILENCED MEMORIES (UN)OFFICIAL COMMEMORATIONS OF THE HOLOCAUST IN BELARUS

This article addresses the problem of the underrepresentation of the traumatic past in the example of the official commemoration of the Holocaust in Belarus. The silenced memories hinder the process of reconciliation and have real consequences for urban planning and cultural life. Thus, in order to address the tragedy that has been excluded from the official commemoration in Belarus, artists and journalists have created projects to fill the void in remembrance. The article describes how art and media projects have resolved the problem of the underrepresentation of certain events in the official culture and make vernacular memory available to many people.

By Elisabeth Kovtiak No Comments on BRINGING BACK THE SILENCED MEMORIES

Displaced time 10 photographs from restricted collections as a model for remembrance

This article focuses on the site-specific exhibition “Displaced Time: 10 Photographs from Restricted Collections” as a model of remembrance and an act against oblivion. The article analyses “Displaced Time” as part of ongoing memory work that aims to explain and understand the mechanisms of the Soviet period and its influence on contempora ry society. In order to analyze the power relations between photographs and archives, this article also explores the power relations between the photographer and the subject – the photographic gaze – as well as the power relations between the photograph and the reader – the agency of images.

By Annika Toots No Comments on Displaced time

Visual representation of the Holodomor From commemoration practices to contemporary art

When we were beginning to think about what we as artists and also the third generation of survivors can tell about the Holodomor we fully realized that visual representation of mass starvation in the arts is not easy. Depiction of violent events and historical traumas is already hard enough because it demands from the artist not only talent but also a deep understanding of historical context and an ethical approach to the sensitive topic. Famine is an invisible enemy. How to show the total lack of something? How to visualize very slow death, extended in time?

By Lia Dostlieva and Andrii Dostliev No Comments on Visual representation of the Holodomor

Nomadic Memory Artivism as the Practice of Recovering Memory

Memory can be retained and archived. You can, however, also manipulate it, obliterate its fragments and sometimes whole segments, using its stores as a tool in a political fight with minorities. Historical memory is only seemingly a domain of objective knowledge. The point of departure for my artivistic practice is always work with archival material. With time, my experiences led me to outline a specific understanding of historical memory as a process in which the most important role is played by the migration of ideas, a peculiar kind of nomadism.

By Zuzanna Hertzberg No Comments on Nomadic Memory

Dissonant Soviet monuments in post- Soviet Lithuania the application of artistic practices

This article theoretically overviews the disputes related to two heritage sites located in Vilnius, Lithuania – the Green Bridge statues and a monument to Petras Cvirka. The change in the culture of memory – from a Soviet to an independent Lithuania – has created the appropriate conditions for certain objects of such heritage to reveal dissonance. Common actions applied to mitigating the disputes that occur in relation to the Soviet-era legacy include the removal of such statues or monuments and/or their relocation. Meanwhile, alternative solutions such as memorial/information plaques and artistic interventions aimed at reinterpreting and decontextualizing the object in question are less widely endorsed.

By Rasa Goštautaitė No Comments on Dissonant Soviet monuments in post- Soviet Lithuania

Social and political memories colliding in public space The case of post-Euromaidan Shyshaky

This paper examines the politics of monument building and the “de-communization” of public space in Ukraine. It first introduces the conceptual categorization of societal-political interaction over memory in order to showcase permutations between between the two types of memory. It then proceeds to evaluate recent memory developments in the case study of the provincial town of Shyshaky in central Ukraine. I argue that official governmental memory politics is secondary to a broader social memory dynamics in re-structuring the local memory landscape in how it represents Ukraine’s WWII experience and its Soviet past. Approaching the local memory developments as a case of permutations between social and political memories yields greater and more accurate insight.

By Andrii Nekoliak No Comments on Social and political memories colliding in public space

Hungarian vineyard landscapes in transition A case study from Lake Balaton

The author traces the transformation of vineyard hills and their change of function through the example of a small village close to Lake Balaton. Under the impact of tourism these areas are gaining a new function: besides agricultural production they are now acquiring a recreational role. As part of this process there have also been substantial changes in the use of the buildings used to process grapes and store wines as the new owners have converted them into second homes or holiday homes. In certain respects the buildings on the vineyard hill also reflect this transformation in the relationship between the landscape and man. The newcomers no longer look on the landscape as a source of livelihood but as a kind of refuge where they can escape urban life from now and then.

By László Mód No Comments on Hungarian vineyard landscapes in transition

Reconstruction of a village IN TUSHETI

For more than a decade the government of Georgia, following consultations with international and transnational actors involved in financial politics and development work, is attempting to stimulate economic development in the countryside by encouraging tourism. The mountainous regions play a specific role in this process. Mountains provide a seemingly good starting point for the development of tourism as they can be defined as being very rich in both cultural heritage and natural landscapes. The main question addressed here is whether the current spatial plans and heritagization strategies of the government for Tusheti are subtle steering mechanisms primarily concerned with encouraging a free market economy. Towards this end, the local population are expected to become entrepreneurs in tourism services. In order to theoretically embed and explain what is happening in Georgia, the concepts of governmentality and heritage regimes will be used. The focus of this paper is on governmentality as it is perceived from the perspective of critical heritage studies and the anthropology of development.

By Edita Štulcaitė No Comments on Reconstruction of a village IN TUSHETI

THE NATION THAT’S US DIVERGENT INTERPRETATIONS OF A CONCEPT

The concept of nation is not only, as is often assumed, related to states but to the people who feel that they belong to a community based on a common identity, wherein language and culture are often emphasized as something that knit people together. History, as well as contemporary experience, reveal the notion that state nationalism tends to oppress local languages and cultures. However, in a cultural nation interpretation, all national minorities, while being citizens of their state of domicile, are per definition not members of the majority nationality.

By Thomas Lundén No Comments on THE NATION THAT’S US