BASEES Annual Conference 2022

Revolutionary Narratives in Feminist Counter-Memory of Contemporary Russia: Resistance or Nostalgia?

Fri8  Apr02:00pm(20 mins)
Teaching Room A


Nadezda Petrusenko


The official discourse of contemporary Russia is counterrevolutionary since the idea of revolution is contradictory to the concepts of stability and strong state promoted by the ruling regime. In this context, history of revolution has been either marginalized or represented in negative light by the mnemonic actors connected to the state. Positive uses of the history of the revolution in counter-memory projects can, thus, be seen as acts of resistance in relation to the state.

In the focus of presentation will be a grassroots feminist series of actions Women’s Historical Nights, which can be approached as one of counter-memory projects in contemporary Russia. In the course of the actions activists with various political affiliation united by their interest in women’s history have made attempts to revive or alter Soviet and post-Soviet historical narratives connected to the revolutionary history of Russia. Within that counter-memory project attitudes towards uses of revolutionary narratives have been very different, varying from approval to condemnation. That’s why it will be interesting to see which arguments have been used by different mnemonic actors for and against uses of revolutionary narratives. The presentation will also shed light on the way the above-mentioned narratives have been employed by activists. Conclusions about the place of revolutionary historical narratives in the counter-memory of contemporary Russia will be drawn.