Soviet music heritage as a discursive middle ground in Belarusian political conflict
Recent protests against the dictatorship in Belarus and following political conflict simultaneously polarised the Belarusian nation and unified various groups of protesters with the help of new national imagery. These opposing but connected processes instrumentalise the Belarusian Soviet past. Heritage as a way of past-in-present existence becomes a tool in this struggle. This paper focuses on the music band 'Pesniary' that represents Soviet music heritage in Belarus. The manifoldness of 'Pesniary' creativity and peculiarities of the band's cultural origins allows different agents to articulate its meaning as Soviet and national heritage at the same time. Using critical heritage studies approach to heritage as a constantly antagonistic process of meaning-making of the past, I will explain how popular music heritage functions in the field of political dissent as means of assimilation of contested past.