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"The Ghosts of the Past: everyday life 20 years after the Fall of Communism"

CAS 29/01/2009

Communism, the system blamed for cutting off half of Europe from 'democratic evolution', has officially been buried in post-Soviet countries. But have the ghosts of Communism really left the stage; have they really disappeared from everyday life of the people who lived under Communism? During this conference we will observe different spheres of post-Communist life through the lens of the connection with the past. Where is Communism today and how can we identify it practically? What does it mean today to be a national of the post-Soviet Republics? Do these people have anything in common today? Is their understanding of culture, politics, ethics, or religion underpinned by their experience of the Soviet regime? What does the anniversary of the fall of Communism mean in those countries? Who is going to celebrate? And finally: Is it important to forget or to remember that past and why?

This conference will reflect on the past and present connections of Communism and post-Communism in everyday life. We would like to look upon different sides of everyday-life practices where culture and politics meet. We will debate on how Communism has affected the Eastern and Western world before and after 1989 and we observe how its impact is manifested today in culture, economy, politics, art, architecture, media and organisations. We want to link this debate with critical research into current versions of Communism around the world.

Abstracts (350 words) for papers or art-based presentations are to be sent to till 28 February 2009. We accept submission in the Russian language. Presentations are encouraged from different disciplines also from the outside of the post-Communist Block.

For more information and the current Programme go to: http://www.uel.ac.uk/ghosts/index.htm

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