Sheltering the Ghosts? Digitized Photographs of Political Victims and World War II Veterans on Russian Online Databases

Event: Seminar

Location: Zoom

23 June 2021, 11.00 – 13.00 (Bucharest time)

Denis SKOPIN, PhD, Pontica Magna Returning Fellow, Associate Professor, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences, St Petersburg University

The talk will be devoted to the role of photographs in practices of remembering the victims of the last century political conflicts in Russia.
First, I will focus on the role of photography as a mean of remembering the dead and in particular political victims. I would like to argue that the process of remembering political victims depends on many factors and the choice of commemorative strategy is not only determined by the political situation in a country, but also depends on what kind of death the victim died, as well as the problem of the presence or absence of his/her remains. Second, I will consider Russian online databases that collect, digitize and organize film-based photographs showing Russian victims and participants of the twentieth-century political cataclysms, primarily World War II and Stalin’s political terror. Finally, I would like to put my research into a broader disciplinary and geographical context, turning to the experience of other post-communist countries.