"And that's how it was": Small stories of big histories in post-Soviet Ukraine.

Liber, Elena. 2021. "And that's how it was": Small stories of big histories in post-Soviet Ukraine.. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

This thesis examines the complex terrain of how history is transmitted and what counts as history in post-Soviet Ukraine, investigating the role of storytelling, material objects and landscape in the way the past is articulated. Following the Maidan protests new “de- communisation” laws were introduced which unsettled official accounts. These laws had the effect of rendering invisible significant experiences and events, transforming public space and reshaping certain discourses around the history of Ukrainian nationalism. Focusing on L’viv, Western Ukraine, this thesis follows the flow of traces and stories through different spaces, moving from the home outwards to public sites of memory, the urban space of the city, the cemetery, and the forest, before finally arriving at the space of the square, or Maidan. Utilising methods such as walking and talking, life history and oral history interviews and a focus on material objects, and engaging with walking tours, museums, sites of nostalgia and the commodification of the past, it explores how multiple, sometimes conflicting narratives jostle for purchase in L’viv. I argue that recent events, such as the Maidan protests, allowed certain narratives to surface and be activated in the present. These narratives inform the political lives of young people in L’viv and shape the way that they imagine the future. The spaces discussed within this thesis are sites where intimate personal and family narratives come into contact with official accounts of the past, and are grappled with by multiple generations. Inherited memories and first-hand experiences are negotiated and inform one another under the shadow of the painful past of the city and Ukraine.By focusing on intimate individual and family stories, and their interaction with collective and official memorialisation, this thesis explores the way that history and memory are felt, experienced and lived in the city of L’viv.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

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Storytelling, Memory, History, Post-socialism, Ukraine, Revolution

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31 March 2021

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Date Deposited:

20 Apr 2021 11:16

Last Modified:

07 Sep 2022 17:18



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