Peer-reviewed articles

Peer-reviewed articles have all been through a peer-review process. We practice double-blind peer-review. All material is reviewed by two independent specialists at least at post-doc level. A prerequisite for publishing scientific articles in Baltic Worlds is that the article has not already been published in English elsewhere. If an article is simultaneously being considered by another publication, this should be indicated when submitting.

Traumatic Contemporaneity Reflections on Piotr Piotrowski’s Critical Museography

This essay analyses two texts by the Polish art historian Piotr Piotrowski (1952–2015) articulating theoretical stances towards art museography. Reflecting on how they deal with psychological as well as openly political issues, I interpret and assess their joint contribution to the broader interdisciplinary field of (critical) museography. The texts are “New Museums in New Europe” and “Making the National Museum Critical”. Together the texts developed Piotrowski’s concept of “the critical museum” as a way of dealing with the challenges of running an old national art museum based on masterpieces while also striving to engage with pressing contemporary issues. which is a prerequisite for critical intervention.

By Dan Karlholm October 25, 2021

Religion and Gender Politics in Lithuania The Catholic Church’s efforts to hinder the ratification of the Istanbul Convention

This paper seeks to understand how the Catholic Church manages its involvement in gender politics in Lithuania and exerts power. Lithuania signed the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (the so-called Istanbul Convention) in 2013 but ratification efforts continue to date. The Convention has become a political “hot potato” and caused ideological confrontations. The Catholic Church is here a political actor, leveraging its influence across multiple levels and cycles of the political decision-making process. NGOs have initiated campaigns in attempt to counter the discourse of oppositional conservative and religious political actors.

By Augustė Nalivaikė October 25, 2021

Wine in the Soviet food regime experiences from Armenia and Georgia

Wine constitutes a corner-stone in the past and present of Armenian and Georgian societies. During the Soviet era, the production, distribution and consumtion of agro-food products, including wine, became elements in the geopolitical organization of food and agri-cultural relations of the USSR and of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance Reconstruction (after 1965). The Armenian wine industry was restructured and its main focus became the production of sherry, while the Georgian wine industry focused on wine production, most of which was exported to Russia. The wine sector became re-structured, vineyards were collectivized and their management was centralized and a far reaching division of labour was implemented at industry level. This article offers a glimpse of the economic history of wine in Armenia and Georgia between the 1920’s and 1991.

By Paulina Rytkönen October 25, 2021

A Swedish outpost in St. Petersburg. The Church of Sweden and St. Catherine’s  Lutheran Church in St. Petersburg. Post-Soviet memory politics from a church historical perspective

The formation of the Swedish Evangelical Lutheran congregation in St. Petersburg had consequences for the Church of Sweden and for Swedish foreign policy. The aim of this article is to problematize the actions of the Church of Sweden and the Swedish state in connection with the revival of the Lutheran congregations on Soviet territory toward the end of the Cold War. The article combines the study of cultural memories with theories derived from research that focuses on spatial location and materiality.

By Gunilla Gunner and Carola Nordbäck April 22, 2021

Shara Zhienkulova as the “femina Sovietica”. Emanicipation in Stalinist Kazakhstan

This article explores the potential of the Kazakh “model woman” narrative in the context of the socio-cultural perspectives of Stalinism in traditional oriental societies. In her well-written memoirs, Shara Zhienkulova, founder of the Kazakh dance school, reconstructs personal accounts of the Bolshevik cultural modernization project, through the introduction of new cultural practices and her own hard-won battle for a place in the new Soviet culture. We argue here that while her body served the regime as a kinesthetic mediator for the projected ideological imperatives to be oriented on European style – in the Soviet manner – her soul and mind remained (as containers of personal and ethnic memory) ethnic Kazakh in nature. Through her memoirs Shara Zhienkulova intended to leave not only a name but also a voice in the Kazakh culture, recounting the inner world and thoughts of subaltern women.

By Didar Kassymova and Elmira Teleuova April 22, 2021

The Janus of Russian modernization. Discussions at the 3rd Cultural Forum of the Regions of Russia

The growing sector of heritage industry and creative uses of the past in Russia illustrate that, besides the undeniable existence of restorative nostalgia, there are other, more progressive forms of nostalgia that address social change and the protection of heritage sites.

By Ekaterina Kalinina April 21, 2021

The legacy of 1989 in Poland. Conflicts and commemoration 30 years after the end of Communism

The author has analyzed the coverage of the 30th anniversary of the Roundtable Agreement and June elections in Polish newspapers of all political hues. Additionally several official speeches held in connection with the commemorations have been scrutinized. The goal has been to examine the uses of memory of 1989 in Polish politics of 2019 and highlight the strategic choices and constraints faced by mnemonic actors in this context. Thus, the study presented may be seen as a follow-up to Bernhard’s and Kubik’s investigation conducted ten years ago. However, this analysis expands the focus of Bernhard’s and Kubik’s work by paying special attention to cultural constraints on politics of memory. Thus, the aim is both to give insight into contemporary politics of memory in Poland in relation to the recent past and contribute to the more general understanding of how culture works in politics of memory.

By Barbara Törnquist-Plewa April 21, 2021

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 February 15, 2021

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 February 15, 2021

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 February 12, 2021