Transform4Europe Open Dual Lecture: “Dissonant Heritage”

Photo: Katerina Rothberg

On October 17, 2023 Transform4Europe Open Dual Lecture: “Dissonant Heritage: Re-evaluating the Soviet Legacies” took place.

Linara Dovydaitytė PhD (Vytautas Magnus University (Vytauto Didžiojo universitetas)) and Anu Soojärv (Eesti Kunstiakadeemia / Estonian Academy of Arts) explored both local and transnational aspects of dissonant heritage in relation to Soviet legacies. Since Russia’s full-scale invasion on Ukraine in February 2022, Russian political behaviour, both in present and past, has been discussed across Europe and beyond as never before, including scrutinising Soviet and Russian-related heritage as one of the reactions to the aggression.

Dovydaityte talked about her research on the atomic town Visaginas with its mostly Russian-speaking community undergoing radical changes due to the decommissioning of the Soviet-designed Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant in Lithuania. It was interesting to hear how heritage is created by or together with a community.

Soojärv introduced the background of the mural in this very room, “The Friendship of the Nations” which was opened to the public in 1987.  At that time it created quite a furor for bearing such an expressive Soviet aesthetics when the significant series of events known as the Singing Revolution had just started to take place. She stressed out, that the painter Evald Okas painted it with great pleasure and the substance of the mural was not in focus. One can see that especially in his sketches.

Together with the moderator Andres Kurg PhD (EKA) we discussed more deeply how the meaning of this heritage has changed for their work after the Russian invasion to Ukraine? Has there been any correction of some of the previous ideas? And how is nostalgia playing part of understanding the heritage?

Dissonant Heritage photo Katerina Rothberg6
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Dissonant Heritage photo Katerina Rothberg7
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Dissonant Heritage photo Katerina Rothberg8
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Foto: Katerina Rothberg
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Posted by Andres Lõo