Accepted paper:

Spaces of memory and cultural practices in the post-Soviet exterritorial area in Latvia


Ilze Boldāne-Zeļenkova (Institute of Latvian History, University of Latvia)

Paper short abstract:

Former settlements reserved for Soviet military what nowadays continues exist as populated areas since 1990s were subjected by changes of social and cultural environment. Amongst many fields resulting from the fact I will focus on coexistence of two communicative memory spaces in chosen settlement.

Paper long abstract:

This is the beginning of the study on uses of the past in post-Soviet settlements in modern Latvia in comparison with similar cases in other post-socialist countries. Soviet military objects were located in 24 of 26 of Latvia's districts. Nowadays it is evident that there are three ways of development of post-Soviet settlements: 1) they have become ghost towns; 2) they are used as tourism sites; 3) they continue to exist as populated areas. My object of interest is the settlements, which maintained the status and features of a populated area. I will focus on coexistence of two memory spaces there - belonged to remained families of ex-milities and to newcomers who are unrelated to the site's Soviet military past and on areas of their representation (informative space, calendar of anniversaries and commemoration days, symbols etc.) Sources of my presentation: field work data (observation, interviews), national and local press (1992-1998, 2014), materials available in the local museum.

panel SPS003
Remembering and forgetting the communist past in post-communist Europe: politics, social practices and everyday life