«Une révolution trahie» : le message secret d’un livre d’Arkadii Gaidar «Преданная революция»: тайное послание книги Аркадия Гайдара
Memory narratives commonly include characters such as heroes (triumphant or fallen), martyrs, perpetrators, and victims. In recent years, the victim has become the central character in the dominant, western-centric, and globalized memory culture. A victim’s definition is problematic: few existing memory narratives include “ideal,” or innocent victims who suffered meaninglessly. The lines between victims and other characters in memory narratives are blurry in many cases, for instance, between a victim and a perpetrator. Using the case of Russian museums dedicated to the Soviet repressions, I study the problematic relation between victims and heroes, adding to the discussion of the victim character’s complexity. Often, victims of Soviet repressions are presented as both victims of political persecution and heroes who did not just suffer through their imprisonment but continued to live productive and creative lives. The resulting victim-hero character indicates that the category of a victim is too limiting and adds to calls for the theorization of victim taxonomy.
This collection of essays was published in a form of a catalogue for one of the propgrams screened at the Yamagata International Documentary Film Fstival in October 2019. The program entitled "The Creative Treatment of Grierson in Wartime Japan" was co-organized by the Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival and the National Film Archive of Japan and presented a broad variety of wartime Japanese documentaries as well as British and Soviet films that have influenced them. The collection of essays explores the development of wartime Japanese documentary cinema from variety of historical and theoretical perspectives.