Essays

Essays are selected scholarly articles published without prior peer-review process.

Heritage, Democracy, Ambiguity Swedish heritage and the politics of identity

This essay examines Swedish heritage politics from the 1920s up to the present by studying official inquiries during this period. Through a critical, historical and empirical discussion, it reveals how the meaning of the word kulturarv (heritage) has been adjusted to correspond to wider changes in Swedish politics. It shows how a relatively neutral understanding of the word kulturarv has been turned into an ambiguity. In this essay I suggest from the material at hand that this trajectory of change results from the development of global capitalism, which turned identity into a commodity. This essay concludes that in a post-heritage future we therefore need a new understanding of identity, an open identity, and that we need to take existential responsibility for our lives.

Essay by Johan Hegardt April 21, 2021

The end of “East Central Europe” and the return of “Europe in-between”

Political and scholarly debates on European (meso-)regions have returned time and again over the past 100 years. The conceptualizations of Central and Eastern Europe plays a major role in the debates, which affects the Baltic Sea region and Northern Europe as well. These issues have already been addressed many times, but recently, a new development deserves our attention: the launch of the “Three Seas Initiative” in the summer of 2015 by the presidents of Poland and Croatia, comprising 12 EU member states between the Baltic, Adriatic and Black Seas.

Essay by Jörg Hackmann April 21, 2021

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?

Essay by Lia Dostlieva and Andrii Dostliev February 12, 2021

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.

Essay by Zuzanna Hertzberg February 12, 2021

Henry Lansdell.

This is an English missionary’s tales of Siberia in the late 19th-century The expedition by Henry Lansdell is documented in the two volumes of Through Siberia from 1882.

Essay by Annagreta Dyring October 8, 2020

Russian fashionistas and international politics

Miroslava Duma, who presents herself as a Russian digital entrepreneur and investor in international fashion, has described Russia during the communist era as a fashion-free zone. Dresses were supposed to be simple back then. Later, Russian women rather became identified by their big hair, leopard tights and showing off bling and brands. However, this image was to be changed.

Essay by Karin Winroth October 8, 2020

Self-Censorship among political bloggers in Belarus and Russia To make yourself heard, with minimal risk to yourself and your loved ones, that is the challenge

Awareness of potential political sanctions can stop social media users from expressing critical and open political views for the sake of personal security. This essay focuses on political bloggers in Belarus and Russia as political opinion leaders who have become more frequent targets of these regimes in recent years. The essay presents the results of a survey on perception and practices of self-censorship conducted among 61 well-known political bloggers in Russia and Belarus and discusses them in relation to the theory of the spiral of silence.

Essay by Alesia Rudnik October 8, 2020

Church independence as historical justice Politics of history explaining the meaning of the Tomos in Ukraine 2018–2019

This essay explores how the politics of history in the time of conflict between Russia and Ukraine empowered various actors of Ukrainian public life, from the president to religious leaders, to advocate for an independent Orthodox church as “long-awaited historical justice.” By deconstructing historical narratives employed in 2018–2019, it argues that church independence was placed within a broader context of decolonisation and overcoming the Soviet legacy.

Essay by Andriy Fert October 8, 2020

Let’s not talk about it Feminism and populism in Argentina

Since the emergence of #NiUnaMenos [Not One Less] in 2015, feminism has become widespread in Argentina. In this essay the authors aim to offer an exploratory account of the conditions that have made this unusual scenario possible. In particular, they consider how the heterogeneous groups that gathered under the scream “Ni Una Menos!” have become part of a feminist “us”.

Essay by Mercedes Barros and Natalia Martinez May 25, 2020

The feminist people National and transnational articulations. The case of Argentina.

The purpose of this article is to analyze the processes followed by feminisms in Argentina, the demands and articulations that emerged and opened the possibility of a historical momentum in which these are at the center of the political scene. The author explores the existence — or not — of the articulations of identities that would embody the construction of counter-hegemonies based on demands around the expansion of rights, which allows the linking of the struggle of feminist movements with others.

Essay by Graciela Di Marco May 25, 2020