The Space of Memory in Afghanistan War Museum
The article is devoted to the interpetation of the events of the Afgan war (1979-1989) in the songs of the group "Nesmeyana"
This paper presents the intermediate results of the research on post-soviet historical memory and soviet war memorials dedicated to the Second World War, known as the Great Patriotic War in Russia. The authors introduce a comparative analysis of a site of memory, lieux de memoir according to Pierre Nora, Poklonnaya Hill where there was no real fighting during the Battle of Moscow in 1941 – 1942, and a place of remembrance, lieux de souvenir according to Aleida Assman, Mamaev Kurgan where, during the Battle of Stalingrad in 1942 – 1943, violent fighting took place.
However, both memorials play particular roles in reproducing and sustaining memory about the Great Patriotic War in Russia. We will reconstruct social practices of using war memorials in Russia through comparing various contexts in which Poklonnaya Hill and Mamaev Kurgan exist nowadays and through analyzing the celebrations of the Victory Day in these locations from the perspectives of ideology, emotionality, geographical symbolism, and spatial differentiations.
Our paper is based on various empirical data. Firstly, we use materials of involved observations and short street interviews conducted by the authors on the 9th of May in 2014 (Victory Day in Russia) at two significant memorials: on Poklonnaya Hill in Moscow and Mamaev Kurgan in Volgograd (formerly Stalingrad). Secondly, we analyze documentary and historical sources as well as texts and messages from media and social networks which contain information and public debates on these memorials. Thirdly, we appeal to interviews with experts who work in the historical museums located in these memorial complexes.
Mamaev Kurgan and Poklonnaya Hill are popular and sacred sites in the mentality of Russian people. It can be explained by their symbolic history and spatial structure. Victory Park in Moscow contains many monuments. On the 9thof May people organize prayers, rallies and celebrations there, while Mamaev Kurgan includes not only monuments but also common graves where soldiers killed in 1942-1943 are buried.
Both memorials are similar in thematic and spatial scopes. They translate a heroic discourse about the victory and courage of soviet people, they are national symbols. Female images are used in the main sculptures of both memorial complexes. The Motherland Calls by Yevgeny Vuchetich was constructed in socialist realistic style in 1967 while obelisk with the Goddess Nike by Zurab Tsereteli is characterized by abstractive forms combining religious and civic motives.
Classical social practices on Victory Day celebrations that honor veterans such as laying flowers and wreaths, participating in mass rallies and folk festivals, are similar in both memorial complexes. Mamaev Kurgan and Poklonnaya Hill are embedded in the space of uncontroversial memory about the Great Patriotic War in Russia. They are the means of constructing and reproducing a united nation. State politics of 2010-s in relation to these war memorials is oriented to sustaining their infrastructures and maximal usage on the 9th of May and other significant national days. The government makes allocations for their reconstruction and restoration. They are regularly represented and promoted in Russian mass media as national symbols.
The article presents an analytical overview of the theoretical and empirical studies devoted to the interpretation of place names and place-(re)naming practices in social sciences. The author suggests a classification based on the distinction of two key approaches to the place-(re)naming practices — cultural and critical. The article focuses on the critical approach formed under the influence of such trends in the contemporary sociology as: 1) the surge of interest to the collective memory and practices of commemoration; 2) the expansion of sociological theory into geographical disciplines and the emergence of ‘social production of space’ theories; 3) the domination of critical research orientation. Finally, the author discusses some limitations of the critical approach and the ways to overcome them with the help of theoretical and methodological resources of neopragmatic sociology.
This paper presents results of examining socio-political debates on history textbookin South Korea in 2000s. For most of the past seven decades, since the establishment of the ROK, the history subject and the content of school textbook on Korean history have been a hot-debated topic because of controversy on certain historical events and persons. But the recent initiative by Park Geun-Hye to switch all history textbooks to state-issued ones faced wide protests from different social groups –starting with professional historians and politicians and ending by other social groups, including students. This case showed that in South Korean society the consensus on recent past does not still exist, as well as national and civic identity is still an issue for debate.
The collective monograph is devoted to problems related to the correlation of history, memory and identity. It presents some research results aimed at a comparative analysis of the processes and mechanisms of constructing national and national-state identities. In maintaining and “reformatting” collective memory and identity, the important role belongs to the deep-rooted national historiographic traditions, which define a canonized image of the past in the form of a national or national-state narrative demonstrating main “places of memory” and symbols of "common fate." The authors of the monograph examine key aspects of the topic on the basis of the history and historiography of Russia, individual countries of Europe and Latin America with significantly different conditions and trajectories of the national identity formation.
An important aspect of the effectiveness of the strategy commemoration embodied in rituals, archives, virtual practices and other matters, is proposed term resonance - in response to the coherence the content and form of commemorative practices. An interesting question is how the new media, especially the Internet, resonates with the content posted on the collective memory, the last revaluation offline. So whether held online rediscovery Afghan phenomenon? In our view, there was a rather capsulisation of this phenomenon, as an escape from the resonance like a virtualization of military memory of the Afghan war.
The Soviet-Afghan war was one of the bloodiest conflicts of the Cold War. Afghanistan was not only the battlefield of the Soviet-American system competition, but was also a place of more or less violent Encounter between "modern" Soviets and "backward" Afghans.