William & Mary

Beholden to Space: Triangulating Stalinism in Contemporary Belarus

Professor Serguei Alex Oushakine (Princeton University) will be giving a lecture on Thursday, September 26th (Washington Hall 201, 5pm) During WWII Belorussia was the site of fierce fighting, Nazi brutality, Stalin's executions, and wide-spread guerilla resistance. The talk will take a close look at public debates associated with several historical sites locatedon the outskirts of the Belorussian capital, Minsk. One of the Khatyn' memorial, built near Minsk in the 1960s to commemorate the victims of "the Great Patriotic War".  Another is the Kuropaty gravesite that hides bodies of people on Stalin's orders in 1937-1941. The final site is a new theme park, The Stalin Line, that was opened in 2005 on the place of a historical fortification structure created shortly before the Second World War. Each site is linked with the Stalinist legacy; each offers its own way of dealing with this past today.