Home » Uncategorized » On Decommunization, Identity, and Legislating History, From a Slightly Different Angle

On Decommunization, Identity, and Legislating History, From a Slightly Different Angle

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To Inform is to Influence

Photograph by Chrstian Triebert, source: flickr.com/photos/christiaantriebert/

During Yanukovych’s presidency, Ukraine was systematically presented with an ideological choice between two Ts: Tabachnyk1 and Tyahnybok.2  Which is to say, between Ukrainophobia thinly masked by Soviet nostalgia on the one hand and provincial ethnic nationalism on the other.  The space for a third way of thinking was consciously limited, and society was mechanically divided along linguistic lines, which were routinely instrumentalized during election campaigns.

The hasty discussion of the “historical” laws passed by the Verkhovna Rada has given me a strong sense of déjà vu.  It’s as if we’re being forced back into this logic of “choice without a choice” between the two Ts (or pick whatever “up-to-date” names you’d like). Among historians, two clear camps have formed, and they (to paraphrase Mikhail Zoshchenko) have “expressed their ideology to the fullest.” At times this discussion…

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