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Working paper

Russian imperial space of power in the first post-revolution decade (1917 – late 1920s)

This article explores how Bolshevik/Soviet authorities took on and adapted the Russian imperial topography of power i.e. the system of special structures that intended to convey state ideology (monuments to tsars and statesmen, emperors’ residences with their various ceremonial spaces, administrative buildings, and those museums which play a role in power representation). The research traces the changing attitudes to the Russian Empire’s space of power in 1917 – late 1920s that varied from destructing such spatial objects to adapting them to the objectives of propaganda. It argues that with the time being appropriation strategies (renaming, recoding, creating of revolutionary memorials etc.) appeared to have better prospects than straightforward disavowal or destruction. The imperial space of power provided some opportunities to propagate novel and/or universal connotations of power and gradually was found relevant for the needs of the Soviet regime.