a Ph.D. in History, a senior researcher at the NASU M. Rylskyi IASFE Ukrainian Ethnological Centre Department
Landscape as a mirror of memories: modern memorial practicesof the Dnieper people in the context of postcolonial studies (According to field materials)
With the growth of modern globalization trends, researchers are increasingly focusing on the ecological and spatial features of national cultures. In the 20th century as a result of unbalanced environmental policy in the USSR, the basic principles of human-landscape interaction were violated. Particularly, in Ukraine, as a result of the construction of a cascade of hydroelectric power plants, the traditional riverside landscape of the Dnieper was destroyed, the relict lands of which until recently formed an integral natural and cultural (associative, historical, toponymic, ecological) system. Our expeditionary researching made it possible to highlight the special role of the former landscape of the River (as a “mirror of memory”) in the collective perceptions of the local population and Ukrainians in general. Emphasis has also been focused on the intensification of informal “memorial communities” in recent years, which have been active in consolidating the descendants of displaced people from floodplains. Most of these actions are ritual and memorial ones those manifest the grief and efforts of forced relocating persons to pass on to their descendants the memory of their lost small homeland. Spontaneous memorialization, beginning as a traditional funeral ritual, a natural and cultural instruction of local communities to commemorating (mutual memory), takes the form of protest social action in a time of new challenges for society, consciously protecting the national space. To interpret the obtained materials (own ethnographic monitoring, interviews, mass-media materials, social networks, visual documents) methods of situational analysis and performativity of culture (the ritual) were used to determine the dispositions “dominance – subordination”, “center” – “periphery”, “memory” – “amnesia”, “structures of othering”, “resistance”, etc as a way of legitimizing “grassroots voices” and analysis of power practices.
cultural landscape, Dnipro, memorial practices, spontaneous memorialization, postcolonial studies.
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