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The “Bandera Debate” : The Contentious Legacy of World War II and Liberalization of Collective Memory in Western Ukraine

Narvselius, Eleonora LU (2012) In Canadian Slavonic Papers 54(3-4). p.61-83
Abstract
This article explores the core propositions articulated by several public actors in the so-called Bandera debate, i.e., discussions about the usable past and legacy of the wartime Ukrainian nationalist insurgency and its central symbolic figure, Stepan Bandera. In Western Ukraine, popular historical imagery as well as intellectual polemics about “Ukrainization” of World War II challenged both the Soviet myth of the Great Patriotic War and the European model of politics of regret. Correspondingly, one of the main ideas conveyed during the Bandera debate in Western Ukraine was the necessity of liberalization of the national politics of memory, i.e., the process of opening the political discourses and public debate to a circulation of diverse... (More)
This article explores the core propositions articulated by several public actors in the so-called Bandera debate, i.e., discussions about the usable past and legacy of the wartime Ukrainian nationalist insurgency and its central symbolic figure, Stepan Bandera. In Western Ukraine, popular historical imagery as well as intellectual polemics about “Ukrainization” of World War II challenged both the Soviet myth of the Great Patriotic War and the European model of politics of regret. Correspondingly, one of the main ideas conveyed during the Bandera debate in Western Ukraine was the necessity of liberalization of the national politics of memory, i.e., the process of opening the political discourses and public debate to a circulation of diverse voices and narratives concerning the national past, a circulation unrestrained by political pressure. Generally, however, wartime events and figures continue to be presented in line with dichotomous national discourses. As the example of a chain of restaurants exploiting the theme of World War II demonstrates, one-dimensional interpretations of the contentious past suggested to the public by the actors involved in the commercialization of historical knowledge may have far-reaching, unpredictable implications. This is especially true in the post-Orange Western Ukraine where politics—including politics of memory—is increasingly determined by ultra-right forces such as VO Svoboda. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
memory studies, Stepan Bandera, Western Ukraine, WWII, politics of memory
in
Canadian Slavonic Papers
volume
54
issue
3-4
pages
61 - 83
publisher
Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2010.
ISSN
0008-5006
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
ee1b171e-c27f-44c0-a901-7dab7af996a4 (old id 3348499)
alternative location
https://www.artsrn.ualberta.ca/csparxiv/ToCs/2012_54_3-4_ToC.php
date added to LUP
2013-01-08 14:40:38
date last changed
2016-04-15 22:51:16
@article{ee1b171e-c27f-44c0-a901-7dab7af996a4,
  abstract     = {This article explores the core propositions articulated by several public actors in the so-called Bandera debate, i.e., discussions about the usable past and legacy of the wartime Ukrainian nationalist insurgency and its central symbolic figure, Stepan Bandera. In Western Ukraine, popular historical imagery as well as intellectual polemics about “Ukrainization” of World War II challenged both the Soviet myth of the Great Patriotic War and the European model of politics of regret. Correspondingly, one of the main ideas conveyed during the Bandera debate in Western Ukraine was the necessity of liberalization of the national politics of memory, i.e., the process of opening the political discourses and public debate to a circulation of diverse voices and narratives concerning the national past, a circulation unrestrained by political pressure. Generally, however, wartime events and figures continue to be presented in line with dichotomous national discourses. As the example of a chain of restaurants exploiting the theme of World War II demonstrates, one-dimensional interpretations of the contentious past suggested to the public by the actors involved in the commercialization of historical knowledge may have far-reaching, unpredictable implications. This is especially true in the post-Orange Western Ukraine where politics—including politics of memory—is increasingly determined by ultra-right forces such as VO Svoboda.},
  author       = {Narvselius, Eleonora},
  issn         = {0008-5006},
  keyword      = {memory studies,Stepan Bandera,Western Ukraine,WWII,politics of memory},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3-4},
  pages        = {61--83},
  publisher    = {Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2010.},
  series       = {Canadian Slavonic Papers},
  title        = {The “Bandera Debate” : The Contentious Legacy of World War II and Liberalization of Collective Memory in Western Ukraine},
  volume       = {54},
  year         = {2012},
}