The Donbass as a Space of Socialist Enthusiasm, Memory, and Trauma: Cinematic and Literary Images

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Roman Abramov


Psychogeography, Post-Soviet Spaces, Soviet Cinema, Cultural Studies, Miners, Donbass


This essay is written in the genre of psychogeography, employing sources from Sovietand post-Soviet films and novels that portray the Donbass as an industrialized space ofboth collective amnesia and collective memory, conjuring up the surreal territory of the“mining-metallurgical civilization.” The modern context of the Donbass as an area ofarmed conflict comes up only when related to the industrial past of this region. Theproblem of Donbass identity in the context of the collapse of the Soviet Union is discussedin terms of its integration into the new reality of an independent Ukraine. Theessay is about several Soviet films that show the Donbass as a space of labor heroism, asite in the memory of the Great Patriotic War, and contradictory first postwar years ofthe late Stalinist era. This analysis covers several important films about this space wherespy stories and the struggle to improve productivity are complemented by scenes ofbuilding a new life on the basis of “cultural” principles.
Text in English.
DOI: 10.25285/2078-1938-2018-10-1-79-94
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