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In Bed with an Elephant: Cultural Wars and Rival Identities in Contemporary Ukraine

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The metaphor used in the title of this paper was coined by the former Canadian prime minister Pierre Trudeau who, in his 1969 speech at the Washington Press Club, said that sharing a land mass with a neighbor richer and more powerful than oneself was like sleeping with an elephant. "No matter how even-tempered and friendly the beast, one is affected by every twitch and grunt" [Kennedy 1996, viii]. Since then, many authors, both in Canada and elsewhere, have applied this metaphor to describe an uneasy survival of their cultures in the shadow of neighboring elephants. As a matter of fact, in the age of globalization any national culture is threatened by some stronger species, of which perhaps the strongest 'beast' is allegedly cosmopolitan, but basically American mass culture.  Ukrainian culture is challenged primarily by Russian culture - the culture of the former metropolis which has largely preserved its superior position in Ukraine and, what is even more harmful, held on to its role as a mediator between world culture and native Ukrainian recipients. As long as Western mass culture is spread in Ukraine in Russian translation (video, magazines, pulp fiction, TV shows, etc.), it cannot be considered as a separate player, or 'another threat', but merely as an integral part of the Russian cultural invasion and neocolonial domination.
Political and economic analysts still disagree as to whether (and to what degree) Ukraine was a political and economic 'internal colony' of Russia. For the cultural analysts, however, the question is obvious. From their point of view, Ukrainians clearly represented the inferior, peripheral part of the imperial culture. The central, superior part of this culture was created in Russia, specifically in Moscow, and based on the Russian language, Russian historical narratives, national symbols and myths. In its visible content and in its hidden ideological messages, this culture consciously pursued or subconsciously supported the colonial policy of the imperial centre. As an effective means of psychological subjugation and political domination it clearly followed the general pattern described by the students of colonialism:
Cultural phenomena (works of art, cultural institutions, processes in the cultural life of a society) may be regarded as colonial if they contribute to the entrenchment or development of imperial power - by diminishing the prestige, narrowing the field of operation, limiting the visibility of, or even destroying, that which is local and autochthonous, in a word, colonial, while underscoring the dignity, global significance, modernity, necessity and naturalness of that which is metropolitan or central [Pavlyshyn 1993, 116]
Little surprise that the 'universal', 'superior' character of Russian culture and language was accepted not only by Russians themselves but also by many people belonging to other Soviet nationalities. In fact, only the Balts and western Ukrainians (and perhaps certain Belarusian, Moldovan and Georgian intellectuals), with their semi-real, semi-mythical sense of belonging to the culturally 'superior' West, did not internalize the inferiority complexes imposed by the dominant culture, and stubbornly insisted on their spiritual ties with the 'real', 'more central' cultural Center somewhere in the West rather than in Moscow.
Since the collapse of the USSR, Russian culture has by and large maintained its strong position in the former Soviet republics for a number of reasons.
First, it has remained a culture of high international reputation and indisputable achievements. Whether one likes it or not, Russian culture belongs to the 'top ten' or even 'top five' world cultures of the last two centuries.
Second, it is mediated by a powerful language which until 1991 was one of the 'international' languages and still remains at least the important regional language, a lingua franca for both the post-Soviet republics and many post-communist countries, from Vietnam and Mongolia to Poland and Eastern Germany.
Third, Russian culture is the culture of a country with relatively strong economic, political, and military resources; Russian cultural presence in the post-Soviet republics not only facilitates Russia's political and economic influence but, in turn, is also facilitated by its relative economic, political, military, and demographic strength.
And, last but not least, Russian has culture has inherited most of the structures and institutions, the material and human resources of the former Soviet Empire. This includes not only major museums and libraries, the best universities and research institutions, TV and film-studios, publishing houses and periodicals, but also the best qualified professionals in various fields who used to come to the imperial centre from all over the USSR to pursue their ambitious careers.
As a result, few efforts proved to be necessary on the part of the Russian state to keep Russian culture highly competitive and influential in virtually all the post-Soviet republics. Needless to say, this situation is perceived rather cautiously by both cultural and political elites in the 'new independent states'. First of all, on the surface, they are quite reasonably afraid of the political and ideological subversion that Russian culture and, particularly, the mass media may export into their native domains. These concerns are substantiated by the fact that Russian culture more often than not sends out (neo)imperial, vindictive, politically and culturally biased messages, and the fact that significant Russian minorities in post-Soviet states seem to be very susceptible to perceived Russian 'propaganda'.
Yet, below the surface, there is an even more profound concern. Native elites are quite reasonably afraid that their own populations, especially heavily Russified/Sovietized parts of them, may become the main target of Russian cultural and, therefore, political/ideological influence. Such a perceived threat seems to be the most plausible in the countries where the Russian and Russophone population is very strong -­ as in Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and where - unlike in Latvia or Estonia - the native cultures are not sufficiently strong or self-confident to fight back against the metropolitan rival.
The Ukrainian case is the major concern of this paper, as the most interesting, complex and perhaps most important area in view of further (geo)political developments. The problem I shall address, within the framework of postcolonial studies, is that of Russia's cultural influence in the 'near abroad' and the probable consequences of this influence for both Russia and the 'new independent states', particularly for Ukraine.
First, I shall examine how the cultural situation is perceived by the opposing sides in Ukraine, and then argue that their mutual misperception stems largely from the intrinsic ambivalence of the Ukrainian situation in general and from the highly ambiguous, incoherent and inconsistent policy pursued by the Ukrainian authorities in particular. This ambivalence, as some scholars insist, comes from the fact that neither de-communization (de-Sovietization) nor de-colonization (de-Russification) has properly taken place in Ukraine, as it did in Poland, or the Czech Republic, or the Baltic States. In cultural terms this means that the hottest discussions in Ukraine are not, in fact, about minority rights, their scale and practical implementation, but about a much more profound and still unresolved question: who is a minority, and who are the majority? Is Ukraine to be built as a Ukrainian nation-state with a separate language and culture, or as a Russian 'Creole' state (in the Belarusian, Transdnistrian or Crimean style) - where the Sovietized Russian language and culture still predominate?
This ardent struggle, some scholars contend, largely determines the future of Russia itself - whether it will ever become a 'normal' nation-state alongside a 'normal' Ukraine or whether it will re-absorb the crypto-Soviet 'Little Russia' (Soviet 'White Russia', Soviet Transdnistria, and so on) and reestablish itself once more as the imperial 'Great Russia'. Ukrainian nation-builders, I shall argue at the end of this paper, face two major constraints. On the one hand, they cannot preserve the colonial status quo and allow the Russian language and culture to continue to dominate the country. Such a country, like Belarus, would have rather dubious legitimacy in the eyes of both the international community and its own citizens. It would inevitably evoke further 're-unification' fever in Russia and 'anti-unification' fever at home. The 'cold civil war' in the country would be protracted into an indefinite future.
On the other hand, Ukrainian nation-builders cannot simply ignore the fact that Russians are not just another minority in Ukraine, and that Russian language and culture is not one of many minority languages and cultures. It would be impossible to completely eliminate or alienate Russian culture and language in Ukraine, due to a number of serious internal and external factors. The practical steps taken so far, as well as the propagandistic rhetoric, may destabilize the situation within Ukraine and badly harm Ukraine's international image. Instead, I would argue, the Ukrainian authorities and cultural activists should effectively adopt certain Western policies in the field of culture. First and foremost, they should state clearly that state protection for the national language and culture, affirmative action on behalf of the socially disadvantaged and marginalized groups, as well as positive discrimination on behalf of the 'weaker' languages and cultures, are not at odds with the profound values of liberal democracy and the multicultural state. The Canadian, Flemish, Catalan, Welsh experiences should be carefully examined and appropriated.
Such a policy would not be easy to implement. But this, in fact, is the only policy that may effectively facilitate Ukrainian nation-state building and, in the long run, Russian nation-state building as well. A nation, as modern scholars rightly point out, can be defined as "a backward-looking community whose members share a primordial sense of common genealogical and geographic origin, and also as a forward-looking, modern political interest group whose members share a desire to control their own destiny" [Chinn & Kaiser 1996, 18].
The latter idea, as the Orange revolution suggested, would seem to be predominant in Ukraine, thereby giving good but not necessarily rosy prospects for the nation's development.

Colonialism denial

The sensitive and controversial issue of Russian (and Russian-Soviet) colonialism in Ukraine and, subsequently, of 'Russification,' seems to remain an intellectual puzzle for many liberal intellectuals, caught between two mentalities: that of the Ukrainian 'nationalistic' depiction of the "historic relationship between Ukrainians and the Russian and Soviet states in terms of cultural subjugation, economic exploitation, forced assimilation, and genocide"; and that of the Russian imperialistic concept of peaceful and voluntary assimilation into a higher culture through "intermarriage, mobility, and the media".
The major academic confusion stems from the fact that Ukrainians are not racially different from Russians and, moreover, had not been ethnically distinguished from Russians in the former tsarist Russian empire. Naturally, they were not, and could not be, discriminated against - because they were treated officially merely as a regional - 'Little Russian' - brand of the same 'Russian' people. Yet, they were oppressed and persecuted in the harshest way as soon as they implied that they were somehow 'other'. As Alexander Motyl aptly remarked, "good Russian subjects were Russians dedicated to Orthodox ideology and Tsarist power" [Motyl 1998, 23].
Any baptized Jew or Muslim could become a good Russian (and even more Russian than the Russians - as the ethnic origins of many members of the imperial elite confirm). By the same token, any Ukrainian (Kazakh, Georgian, Jew) could be a good Soviet citizen if he/she was wholeheartedly dedicated to communist ideology and Soviet power. Indeed, ethnicity was not a problem (neither in Russia, nor in the USSR) - so long as an 'ethnic' accepted, in Motyl's words, "the 'leading role' of the Great Russian people, the primacy of the Russian language as a vehicle of international communication, the 'friendship of peoples', the continuity between Russian imperial and Soviet history, and proletarian internationalism". [Motyl 1998, 23] - or, in the case of the tsarist empire, loyalty to the tsar and Orthodox Christianity.
In his earlier book Will the Non-Russians Rebel? Alexander Motyl provided an excellent account of how the mechanisms of Russification worked, and where the real ethno-linguistic discrimination began:
Language use has a potent symbolic quality in a politicized linguistic environment: it immediately assigns the user to one of two sides of the ideological barricade (...) Oleksa Tykhyi and Vasyl' Romaniuk, both former Ukrainian dissidents (...) were fully aware of this symbolism when they quixotically exhorted their countrymen to protest against the state's preference for Russian by speaking Ukrainian 'not only in the family, but also at work, in public activity, and on the street'. The use of Ukrainian, they realized, is tantamount to opposition to the Soviet state (...) Although no laws forbid deviations from this behavioral norm (as one Soviet Ukrainian representative once told me, no one 'is holding a gun to their heads'), non-Russians in general and Ukrainians in particular appear to understand that insistence on speaking one's native language - especially among Russians - will be perceived as rejection of the 'friendship of peoples' and as hostility to the 'Soviet people'. Precisely because Ukrainian and Russian are mutually intelligible, using Ukrainian in relations with Russian-language speakers is so obviously an affront against the spirit, if not quite the letter, of Russification policy as to qualify the obstinate user as a 'Banderite', 'Petliurite', 'bourgeois nationalist', or, minimally, an ungrateful sibling of the 'elder brother' (...) Few Ukrainians are audacious enough to risk such unpleasantness as public censure, loss of employment, or even jail for the sake of linguistic purity. As a result, they signal their loyalty to the state and sidestep chauvinist reactions by speaking Russian. [Motyl 1987, 100-101].
Symptomatically, the deniers of colonialism and Russification never refer to any analytical works on the topic, favoring instead various types of 'anti-nationalistic' (and 'nationalistic') journalism, combined with a Soviet-style rhetoric on the "common development of two peoples close in language, culture and historical past"; on the "two cultures sufficiently intertwined to be considered a broad transitional stratum"; and, of course, on the "common Eurasian space" and the "harmonious unity of the east Slavic peoples." In moderate, seemingly academic statements, they simply imply, uncritically, that
"there has always been a voluntary crossover between what were never in any case completely separate cultural spheres. The present language situation in Ukraine cannot therefore be explained solely in terms of the actions of 'zealous Russifiers'" [Wilson 1998, 133; my italics].
In more radical statements, however, they adamantly deny the very existence of a separate Ukrainian nation, presenting it as a sinister Western, Polish-Austrian-Jewish-masonic plot. They argue that 'true', i.e. 'normal', i.e. Russophone Ukrainians should make common cause with ethnic Russians against nationalist Ukrainophones in western Ukraine, thereby turning the Galicians with their peculiar history into the 'other'. "Urban Galicians", according to the Party of Slavonic Unity of Ukraine, "are a nation formed out of passive Slavdom, a national-aggressive type of world Jewry, relics of ethnically embedded Armenians, Germans, Hungarians, Tatars, Poles, Lemkos, Boikos and others, mixed together after the Austrian revolution of 1848-1849." They, not Russians, are the true 'fifth column' in Ukraine [quoted in Wilson 1998, 137].
Uncritical references to emotional, essayistic texts as though they represented serious arguments, unavoidably lead even serious authors into making curious contradictions and illogical assumptions. For example, on one page, a Western scholar sympathetically quotes a Ukrainian Russophone intellectual who claims that "there was no real 'ethnic division of labour' in Ukraine under the USSR. Russians and Ukrainians worked side by side." And on the next page, as though ignoring what had been said a paragraph before, she resumes: "Historical intermingling and high levels of mixed marriage in eastern and southern Ukraine mean that 'passport' ethnicity is often fairly meaningless" [Wanner 1998, 134].
Obviously, if the latter is true (and it is!), then the former view (idyllic, in the style of Soviet propaganda posters showing scenes of Russian-Ukrainian co-operation 'side by side') ought to be defined by a non-partisan scholar as not so true, in other words - as a myth, one of the basic myths of the Little Russian [omit hyphen] consciousness. But to abandon mythmaking and to accept the logic, would mean to arrive at a very different view of 'Little Russianism', Russification, etc., - exactly at the point where certain other scholars had arrived some time ago:
As a form of self-accommodation, Russian-language use may be called 'Little Russianization', a term derived from an earlier nomenclature for Ukrainians and one we may now employ to denote an acceptance, however unwilling, of non-Russian subordination to Russian ethnic hegemony. Little Russians, generically understood, are unlikely to challenge Russian societal hegemony or Russian dominance of the Soviet state, since their use of Russian as a language of ritualized social intercourse has provided them with secure niches in the structure of Russian ethnic power (...) Little Russianization acts as a behavioral filter: officials or workers willing to use Russian at the workplace are declaring their loyalty to the state. With respect to elites in particular, I hypothesize that only those non-Russians who act as Little Russians will advance up the nomenclatura ladder. Those who do not behave properly will be weeded out at each progressively higher level of the state. John Armstrong hints at just such a process when he writes that 'Ukrainians (and to a lesser extent Belorussians) have been employed in key control and managerial positions throughout the USSR and abroad. This is concrete evidence that members of these groups are not discriminated against if they acquire the proper education and submit to Russification' [Motyl 1987, 103].
This is a direct answer to both assumptions - that the 'passport' ethnicity was meaningless and that neither Ukrainians nor Russians were discriminated against because of their ethnicity. Both assumptions are true but they are true only in relation to the various brands of the Soviet people - 'Little Russians', 'Little Uzbeks', 'Little Latvians' and other folk who accepted the role of a 'little' brother (like Friday vis-à-vis Robinson Crusoe) and submitted to Russification-Sovietization, and who thus, as Motyl points out, opted for a "behavioral conformity."

The Legacy of colonialism

The colonial legacy which badly hampers not only cultural but also political and economical development of contemporary Ukraine, was comprehensively analyzed by the American anthropologist Oksana Grabowicz as early as 1993 in her presentation at the International Congress of Ukrainian Studies Specialists in Lviv [Grabowicz 1995]. She argued in particular that centuries of colonial subjugation have led to a perverse impact on both the colonizers and the colonized. The former have gradually developed a superior attitude towards the 'inferior' indigenous culture. Meanwhile, the latter have deeply internalized this attitude, evolving inferiority complexes and accepting a stereotypical, 'Oriental' view of themselves, imposed by the colonizers. Such a view of Ukraine is nothing new. The prominent nineteenth-century Russian critic Vissarion Belinsky, who labeled Ukrainians as 'cast iron headed', and his Ukrainian contemporary Mykola Hohol' (a.k.a. Nikolai Gogol), who wrote rather sympathetically about 'Little Russian' songs and dances, had something very important in common. Both considered Ukraine to be an exotic, uncivilized borderland which once had a glorious past and a great folklore which was now naturally disappearing and doomed to be assimilated into a superior culture.
To uncover this mechanism of colonial subjugation, Grabowicz employed C.G. Jung's concept of the 'collective shadow', defined as "a dark side of man, the unconscious, the negative, the destructive, and self-destructive tendencies and desires in the psyche." When the shadow is severely repressed the negative contents of the unconscious are activated and forced out as projections onto external objects. Eventually, these projections come to be perceived as qualities of the 'Other' - as a person, group or nation. Hence, the collective shadow of the dominant society (its subconscious negative self-image), when projected onto the oppressed group over a long period of time, exerts a destructive influence on it because the group begins to identify itself with such a projection. Ultimately, it loses confidence in its own qualities (the qualities of its culture and society) and increasingly adopts the colonizer's view as 'superior': "The subordinated group in the end becomes a despised minority in their own native land" [Grabowicz 1995, 8].
Ukrainian society shows a remarkable similarity to other colonized societies, in terms of the patterns and syndromes already described and elaborated at length by Frantz Fanon, Volodymyr Odajnyk and many other students of colonialism. One may also discern a similarity between the assimilation processes taking place in the Russian 'near abroad', particularly in Ukraine, and those in the 'Celtic fringe', as explored extensively by Western scholars:
The conscious rationale behind anglicisation among the peripheral elite was to dissociate themselves as much as possible from the mass of their countrymen, who were so strongly deprecated by English culture. Thus, they eagerly learned to speak English in the home, to emulate English manners and attitudes, to style their very lives on the English model. In effect, this was a voluntary renunciation of their national origins [Hechter 1975, 24].
In Ukraine the distinction between the two rival groups is basically cultural and linguistic, not racial. Therefore, the problem of the social inferiority of the aboriginal kolkhoz slaves (and their heirs) has been resolved (or at least cushioned) in a manner that would be unthinkable in Africa or America: by passing for white in the manner of Michael Jackson; in other words, by discarding the 'lower', 'black' Ukrainian vernacular and adopting the 'higher', 'white' Russian tongue. As a result, Russification and cultural Creolization of East Ukrainian rural aborigines may well continue, despite the formal national independence of Ukraine and even after the granting of official status to the indigenous language.
More often than not the converted aborigines are ashamed of their autochthonous background (e.g. of their Ukrainian-speaking parents) and are even less inclined than ethnic Russians to show any interest in Ukrainian culture, which they consider inferior. Despite the fact that Ukrainian culture of the 20th century and, particularly, of the last decade has produced significant, internationally recognized, achievements, even the best Ukrainian books, magazines, films or music are not in demand in 'Ukrainian' cities, whereas third-rate mass culture imported from Moscow (or from America, though in Russian translation) is consumed by the aboriginal 'immigrants' from the rural (until now Ukrainophone) 'Third World' areas. Many people still tend to believe that "there just aren't any good books published in Ukrainian" [Weir 2000], or that "practically none of the professional newspaper people in the country write in its language" [Gorina 2000], or that in Ukrainian "the words did not exist to describe certain many modern concepts, or objects" [Slackman 2000].
All this is simply not true: there are many excellent books published in Ukrainian, both original Ukrainian texts and translated works (to mention only the complete works of Shakespeare praised by experts, or philosophical classics from Plato and Seneca to Wittgenstein and Foucault); and there are dozens of talented journalists writing primarily in Ukrainian (including the late Heorhiy Gongadze whose mysterious murder caused the greatest political scandal in Ukraine's current history). Meanwhile the language itself, at least since the 'Ukrainization' campaign of the 1920s, is intricate, rich and flexible enough to cover any topic, however sophisticated.
No expert has yet questioned the viability of modern Ukrainian culture and language. Even presumably 'biased' Russian historians recognize that "by the end of the 19th century, despite the discrimination in the sphere of the humanities (the restrictions on book publishing, the ban on Ukrainian schooling, judiciary, etc.), the major components of Ukrainian national cultural life had been formed (a national literature, historiography, professional theatre, music, and so on) that this facilitated the national movement" [Mikhutina 1997, 197].
Th[e] gradual and initially almost imperceptible intrusion of the West as a model into Ukrainian cultural consciousness, - a Canadian scholar avers, - displaced the ubiquitous, defining presence of the empire. The imagining of Ukraine in a European framework - and the corresponding rejection of the all-Russian/imperial context - was a profound paradigm shift that allowed Ukrainian culture to view itself not as a subsystem or a complement, but as a complete world in its own right, equivalent (if not in fact, at least potentially) to all other self-contained European national cultural systems. By embracing Europe as a point of reference, Ukraine symbolically transformed itself from a dependent provincial culture in an empire to an independent national culture within a European framework. Ukrainian culture could now be imagined as accommodating both the "high" and the "low" within itself [Ilnytzkyj 2003, 314-315].
At the grass-roots level, however, ignorance reigns supreme, paving the way for biased thinking and stereotyping. Many Ukrainians, even Ukrainophones, still have a rather caricatured view of the Ukrainian culture promoted by the Soviet school system and the colonial propaganda. They perceive it as consisting primarily of a great but largely irrelevant folklore, of a canon of not-so-bad but quite outdated and therefore boring 19th-century classics (focused mostly on social issues and rural life), and of the weird 20th-century writing of 'socialist realism'. As to the modern and genuinely appealing Ukrainian culture, they comes to be by and large 'ghettoized' within a relatively narrow circle of Ukrainophone intellectuals. Although Ukrainophones make up at least half of the Ukraine's population (if not two thirds, as the censuses claim), they represent primarily the provinces - towns and villages that have been traditionally disadvantaged politically, culturally, socially, and economically. Indeed, they are from a "lesser world populated with lesser people", as Frantz Fanon might have put it. Or, as Kievskie vedomosti remarked scornfully, most of them are "rural residents" with virtually no "real influence on society."
According to the last Soviet census (1989), only 8% of Ukrainians in the Ukrainian SSR had higher education, while for more urbanized Russians the figure was twice as high (16%). The new census (2001) as well as some other surveys [Bremmer 1994, 226] largely confirmed these figures. Bohdan Krawchenko in his 1985 book argued that the percentage decline in Ukrainians in the student population since 1930s was a "direct consequence of the Russification policies which put Ukrainians at a natural disadvantage vis-à-vis Russians in the struggle for vuz-entrance" [Krawchenko 1985]. In particular, Germ Janmaat comments, Ukrainians proved to be less competitive "because of their low social origins (most of them had a working-class or collective farm background), with insufficient means and skills to vie with the Russians and Jews, who disproportionately came from an intelligentsia or middle-class milieu" [Janmaat 2000, 58].
An even more daunting fact was that very few ethnic Ukrainians who became urbanized and managed to obtain higher education remained Ukrainophone. Neither their education nor the urban environment nor the political climate supported their commitment to their 'mother tongue'. Only half of the ethnic Ukrainians with higher education, predominantly in the provinces, claim that their preferred language is Ukrainian [Lashchenko 2001]. There are virtually no Ukrainophones among the Ukrainian nouveau-riches - not a single Ukrainian millionaire has been noticed speaking Ukrainian in private, and very few do so in public.
All these factors taken together significantly restrict the ability of Ukrainian culture to influence the society and serve as a vehicle for the assumed 'Ukrainization'.

The Threat of Capitalism

Another, relatively new, group of factors which renders Ukrainian culture largely uncompetitive in Ukraine vis-à-vis its metropolitan rival, has been brought about by the advent of wild 'oligarchic' capitalism and the end of the socialist welfare state with its cultural, educational, health care and other humanitarian institutions. Despite the obvious fact that 'parasitic' capitalism in Ukraine and Russia looks very similar, its impact on the cultural sphere in both countries proves to be rather different.
In Russia, the inevitable decline in state support for national culture has been compensated for by and large by the rapid development of the free market which has boosted the popular genres such as pop-music and video, TV shows and films, yellow newspapers and magazines, sensational books and computer games, let alone all sorts of pirated translations, reprints, and reproductions. Of course, some areas of national culture have declined in Russia almost as much as in Ukraine: village libraries, for example, provincial theatres and museums, and so on. But in Ukraine, the enormous decline in state-sponsored cultural institutions has not been compensated for in any significant way by the development of a self-sufficient, market-oriented mass culture. As a result of the colonial legacies described above, the Ukrainian market has proved to be just a provincial outlet for the huge Russian market - with virtually the same (mass) cultural products on sale in Kyiv as in Moscow. Ironically, state paternalism withered at exactly the time when it was most needed to heal colonial wounds and revive the stigmatized culture and language following decades of oppression.
Whether these problems result from a sinister anti-Ukrainian conspiracy (as some Ukrainophile activists claim) remains unclear. The clear fact is, however, that "political and intellectual elites throughout the region tend to speak Russian... Like it or not, Russian is still the region's lingua franca..." Because, as a Western journalist explains,
Economically, the region needs Russian. Language is the bread and butter of economic progress. Make a deal with a taxi driver in Riga, or a gold trader in Bishkek, and more than likely you will speak Russian [Living 2000].
Perhaps the only thing the foreign correspondent failed to notice in his perspicuous observations about the 'region', was the predominately nomenklatura (Communist-Komsomol-KGB) origins of the huge majority of the post-Soviet political and economic elites. Indeed, capitalism in the 'region' speaks Russian, first and foremost because this is the first, if not the only, language of the region's 'capitalists'. The political and economic systems they have built in Kyiv and Moscow, Astana and Bishkek, Chisinau and Baku are as similar as their social, cultural and linguistic backgrounds. Post-Soviet 'capitalism', as one Ukrainian writer sarcastically remarks,
means not only bazaar and bizarre crooks everywhere, with bold heads, empty eyes, and ridiculous sports trousers. It means also a primitive Russification, a language of two hundred words, a kind of Russian pidgin. Well, this is the language of the most respectable people in our country - gangsters, pop-stars, sportsmen, nouveaux-riches. None of them needed any Ukrainian to get their fortunes, most people feel. So why should we need it? [Andrukhovych 2001, 56] .
The laissez-faire oligarchic capitalism that reigns supreme in the post-Soviet space, clearly facilitates the needs of the stronger player, that is the Russian/Russophone oligarchy, in both Russia itself and the post-Soviet republics. In the cultural sphere this peculiar 'capitalism' promotes a peculiar ('pidgin') form of Russian culture which, although it leaves some room for the Russian high culture, denies virtually any room to the native cultures  of the former republics except certain exotic elements of the regional folklore.

Resilient nationalism


The Russification trends supported by the colonial legacy and laissez-faire capitalism are strongly resisted by the Ukrainophile intelligentsia which, for decades, has been striving to promote the Ukrainian language and culture and to de-Russify its fellow-citizens or, at least, to protect them from further Russification. These efforts have been traditionally facilitated by local patriotism, cultural and linguistic peculiarity, colorful folklore, well-elaborated historical narratives, heroic myths, symbols, viable and attractive high culture. Today, in the independent Ukraine, they have gained additional momentum as a result of increased freedom of speech and access, however limited, to the mass media; of the now largely de-Sovietized and Ukrainized educational system; of the partly de-Sovietized state institutions; and of the very fact of the existence of the independent state - with its legitimate symbols and legitimizing narratives.
Despite the fact that Ukrainian 'nationalists' seem to be a 'minority' in Ukraine [Wilson 1997], they managed to mobilize nearly half of the population to support the Ukrainophone presidential candidate against his Russophone rival in 1994 and, within a broader coalition, to win an impressive victory for the pro-Ukrainian candidate against his pro-Russian rival ten years later. Although they are a 'minority', they make up at least one third of Ukraine's population, have their stronghold in Western Ukraine, predominate among the cultural/ humanitarian intelligentsia in Kyiv, and have ardent supporters and sympathizers all over Ukraine, even in the Donbas and Crimea. They are a force to be reckoned with; actually they have been, until recently, the only political force, apart from the communists, which can easily mobilize a great many supporters to participate in political activities. In fact, the communists have been their only well-organized and vociferous opponents. Such opponents, however, have discredited the Russian cause in Ukraine rather than promoted it.
Yet the main reason why Ukrainian 'national democrats' (liberal nationalists) have a greater influence on Ukrainian politics than might be expected from their relatively small number and relatively marginal social status, is that they are not opposed by any clear majority - be it ethnic, cultural, or linguistic. Ukrainian society is not divided along any clear geographic or ideological line. As one Russian scholar aptly points out:
Even though the boundaries between Western Ukrainians and Russians may seem as strong as those between Russians and Estonians, the boundaries between various Ukrainian groups in actual contact (Ukrainophone Ukrainians, Russophone Ukrainians, Ukrainian Russians) are fluid. [While the Ukrainophile minority, the author continues] provides the drive for a nation-building effort (...) their nationalist drive is mediated by other less extreme groups... Thus one may picture a 'ratchet-wheel', creeping assimilation from Western Ukraine on to Central Ukraine and from there on to the rest of the country. Likewise, the process works from the Ukrainian-speaking Ukrainians on to Russian-speaking ethnic Ukrainians, and then on to ethnic Russian residents of Ukraine [Ponarin 2000, 1535-1537].
In actuality, the picture is even more complex because none of the three major groups is heterogeneous. Although Ukrainophone Ukrainians make up about two thirds of the population, nearly half of them remain Ukrainophone rather by chance than conviction: they have simply not been exposed to the Russification pressure in their villages; their ethno-cultural self-awareness, however, remains very low.
On the other hand, there are many committed Ukrainophiles among Ukrainian Russophones (as a matter of fact, the entire Ukrainian nationalism was born in this milieu in Kharkiv in the first half of the 19th century, and only a few decades later was appropriated by West Ukrainian, predominantly Polish- and German-speaking, intellectuals). While the entire Ukrainian population is to varying degrees bilingual, a great many Ukrainian Russophones are bilingual particularly and essentially: they speak more Russian than Ukrainian just because Russian is the common language in the places where they live and work. In a Ukrainian environment they easily change their communication patterns, thereby proving the term 'language of convenience' (used by the sociologists) to be nearly as dubious as the term 'mother tongue' (used in the censuses). In fact, the nearly 20% difference between the number of people who claim Ukrainian to be their 'native language' (about 70%) [Janmaat 2000, 19-20] and those who claim Ukrainian is their 'language of convenience' (about 50%) [Khmelko & Arel 1996, 86] reflects, on the one hand, the rather high attachment of many Ukrainians to their 'mother tongue' and, on the other hand, the rather low possibility for employing this 'tongue' in their everyday life in the heavily Russified (and rather unfriendly to Ukrainian) East Ukrainian cities. In a sense, the ambiguous linguistic identity of these people resembles the identity of many Ukrainian immigrants to the West who still claim their 'native language' to be Ukrainian but find it much more 'convenient' to communicate in English when living in Toronto or Philadelphia.
Meanwhile the third group, the Ukrainian Russians who made up 17% of the republic's population in 2001, proves to be as ambivalent and heterogeneous in terms of ethnic identity as the other two groups discussed above. According to the sociological data, five years after the fall of the Soviet Union, only 10% of Ukrainian Russians considered Russia to be their 'native country', and only 5% (i.e. less than 1% of the entire population) did not consider themselves to be Ukrainian citizens [Furman 1997, 283]. Another interesting phenomenon was that nearly all of them agreed that their children/grandchildren should be fluent in Ukrainian; and nearly one-third of them (two-thirds in Kyiv and in Lviv) confirmed that they would not mind their children/grandchildren being instructed at school in Ukrainian [Bremer 1994]. This is an apparent sign that many Russians in Ukraine, although they refuse (quite naturally) to be 'Ukrainized' themselves, are ready to accept the smooth 'Ukrainization' of their off-spring.
Despite the common view, Ukrainian nationalism is not ethnocentric - its major concern is culture and language, not ethnicity. It is therefore inclusive, willing to embrace anybody who accepts Ukrainian culture and language, or who at least recognizes their uniqueness and their need to be rescued. The two major arguments applied by the Ukrainophile activists in favour of cultural protection are basically in line with the liberal tradition. The first appeals to the "intrinsic value of culture," the second to "equal opportunity" [Bennett 1999, 679]. The first argument addresses the uniqueness of Ukrainian language and culture and their absolute, irredeemable value for both the Ukrainians and the whole world. The second argument emphasizes the need to heal colonial wounds and boost the revival of Ukrainian language and culture through certain measures of 'positive discrimination'.
The first argument, however, has little appeal for many Russians and even some Russophone Ukrainians who are traditionally biased against Ukrainian culture and are not so sure whether it could and should be rescued. The second argument is even less appealing to them because they quite reasonably suspect that any 'positive discrimination' would have a clearly negative impact on their own current linguistic and cultural dominance.
Thus, we may conclude that Ukrainian nationalism, which survived the harsh oppression of previous decades, can be a viable force in resisting the ongoing Russification, or at leastin successfully protecting its own 'spiritual' territory, its own 'imagined community' - that is one third of Ukraine's inhabitants who definitely, by choice and conviction, identify themselves with the Ukrainian Kulturnation. As the voting patterns of the 2002 and 2006 parliamentary and the 2004 presidential elections proved graphically, the moderate (civic rather than ethnic) forms of Ukrainian nationalism have expanded their influence over a substantial part of the 'ambivalent' population in Central Ukraine, beyond the traditionally 'nationalistic' (albeit predominantly Russian-speaking) city of Kyiv. Still, it is highly questionable whether Ukrainian civic, and not necessarily ethnic, nationalism will be able to establish a firm footing in some regions and among some segments of the population, which still tend to perceive its advance as a threat of 'Ukrainization'.

Ambiguous statism

The first attempt to systemically elaborate the cultural policy of the Ukrainian state was undertaken as early as 1993-1994, by the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine, briefly headed at the time by Ivan Dziuba, a prominent Ukrainian intellectual and renowned dissident of 1960s. Under his auspices, a bright team of young experts analyzed the current cultural situation in Ukraine and produced some preliminary guidelines for the cultural policy to be pursued [Hrytsenko 1994].
They considered four major models of cultural policy defined as 'European', 'nativist', 'wild-western', and 'CIS'. In Ukraine, they argued, the economic conditions of mafia-style capitalism promoted in fact no cultural policy but a 'wild-west' laissez-faire free-for-all, while the political conditions were supportive rather of a 'CIS-style' cultural (under)development (i.e. neocolonial dominance by the former imperial culture, primarily through mass culture, and the further marginalization of Ukrainian culture and language). To transform  this, they opted for the 'European' model as a sophisticated mixture of free market laissez-faire and various forms of state paternalism to protect national culture and support the 'high' arts. The 'nativist' model should not be abandoned, however, because, in their view, it could be adopted effectively in a postcolonial country in order to revive the formerly discriminated against national culture and language.
Within the framework of the 'European' model, the young reformers suggested the gradual transformation of the Ministry of Culture into a project-management and grant-distribution agency. They insisted on the greater transparency and efficiency of state cultural institutions, and encouraged competitiveness among grant-seekers. At the same time, in order to overcome the colonial legacy, they provided protection for Ukrainian culture by putting the emphasis on tax relief rather than on direct subsidies for Ukrainian cultural products and activities. The major strategic goal outlined by the group of reformers was to promote by all means a modern, primarily urban and youth-oriented image of Ukrainian culture.
The election of Kuchma and resignation of Dziuba in July 1994 put an end to the courageous, yet quixotic, attempts to reform one of the many post-Soviet bureaucratic strongholds in Ukraine from within. The negative cultural tendencies ('wild-west' and 'CIS') remained dominant in Ukraine, although the positive ('European' and 'nativist') have not been completely abandoned either. Moreover, at the end of 2004, after the election Viktor Yushchenko, Ukrainophiles again filled some key positions in the government and made the first attempts to implement some sort of the 'nativist'-cum-'European' cultural policy.
Whether the 'nativist' tendencies within this policy would have been properly balanced against the 'Europeanization" trends, remains however unclear. Yet it is clear that any cultural policy in Ukraine would be weak, incoherent and inconsistent, and basically ineffective so long as the state remained dysfunctional [Mace 1999] and the most basic issues concerning the state and society remained unsettled - "from private property and basic social issues to cultural and geopolitical orientation" [Garnett 2001, 43].
The dubious viability of dysfunctional states, also dubbed 'quasi-states', has been discussed at length by the students of postcolonialism. They argue that many colonies that gained independence some three to four decades ago, have failed to create institutional and cultural preconditions for viable independence. "Their populations do not enjoy many of the advantages traditionally associated with independent statehood. Their governments are often deficient in the political will, institutional authority, and organized power to protect human rights or provide socioeconomic welfare" [Jackson 1996, 21].
Ukraine, as a relatively new state, largely fits the described patterns of postcolonial (under)development:
Its state institutions are still weak, especially those promoting the basic laws and policies required to establish long-term economic, political and social well-being. Politically, Ukraine is in fact a highly competitive oligarchy, mitigated by important democratic and pluralistic features such as elections and a diverse (but not fully free) press. The competing factions in this oligarchy are primarily concerned about the division of wealth and power, not overall economic or social good. Like other post-Soviet states, this kind of politics is highly personal and corrupt. The Ukrainian leadership has in fact accomplished some basic and important tasks with skill, such as state building or relations with Moscow. Yet in heart and soul this leadership is cautious and concerned about maintaining a status quo that has been personally beneficial to themselves and their associates. Those who have met regularly with senior officials in the executive and legislative branch note that the only sustained trend showing steady improvement is the upgrading of their personal wardrobe and haircuts [Garnett 2001, 47].
Of course, Ukraine's thorough and ubiquitous ambivalence is largely determined by its notorious regional, cultural, political, economic and other divisions. Many of them, as Sherman Garnett aptly notes, "reflect not deep conviction but a high degree of uncertainty and misunderstanding in the population at large." The real problem however is that Ukrainian rulers have done virtually nothing to overcome this ambivalence. On the contrary, for an entire decade they have been deliberately contributing, through word and deed, to the total confusion, aptly called 'social schizophrenia' [Holovakha 1992]. There has been no coherent, consistent cultural or any other policy in Ukraine that could be interpreted as either a radical de-Sovietization, de-communization or de-colonization (as in the Baltic or Central and East European states), or a further Sovietization and colonization-Creolization (as in Belarus). Ukraine has remained stuck between these two models. Ukrainian self-congratulatory 'stability' has simply proved to be the reverse side of stagnation. The words 'Ukrainization', 'democratization', 'economic reforms' were discredited long before any real Ukrainization, democratization, economic reforms began.
One may speculate in this context, quite reasonably, about the government's overall impotence and dysfunctionality, as well as incompetence and basic indifference to all things 'cultural', 'Ukrainian', 'reformative', 'democratic', and so on. The ruling post-Soviet nomenklatura-cum-oligarchy has always been largely a-national and non-ideological, and has pursued, in fact, no comprehensive policy in any sphere except self-promotion and day-to-day survival. In many terms, they have behaved like a typical third-world 'comprador' elite described by the students of postcolonialism.
One should not overlook however the crucial fact that Ukraine's pervasive ambivalence has not only been inherited but also cherished. It results not only from the general ambivalence of Ukraine's population and post-Soviet elites, but also from the elites' mundane efforts to preserve this ambivalence for as long as possible.
Paradoxically, post-Soviet elites have been torn between two imperatives. On the one hand, once they started to privatize different parts of the former empire under 'national' flags, they needed to take care of 'nation-state building' in their fiefdoms, including developing state institutions and strengthening distinct cultural identity. On the other hand, they have a vested interest in the preservation of old Soviet-style institutions and old, heavily Sovietized, cultural identity. Both institutional and cultural de-Sovietization, if carried out consistently and coherently, would inevitably lead to an absolutely new political and cultural environment. Such an environment would mean, in particular, much greater transparency and much fairer competition in both the economy and politics. Few oligarchs were interested in such changes. Their political wing - representatives of the post-Soviet nomenklatura - tried to sell themselves as 'moderates', 'mediators' between the revengeful communists and radical nationalists (or 'islamists' in Central Asia). They desperately needed society to be ambivalent, confused and alienated.
Therefore they made some concessions to the Ukrainophiles, flirted with Moscow, sent mixed messages to the Russophones and contributed greatly to the pervasive confusion surrounding Ukraine's policy on various issues. Basically, they tried to preserve a Soviet-cum-independent Ukraine. The 'Soviet' component, however, has always been unacceptable to many Ukrainians while the 'Ukrainian' component (perceived as ethnically exclusive) is still alien to many Russians.

Russia behind the scenes


Russia, although behind the scenes, remains the major player in this game. Cultural presence abroad would appear to be beneficial to any nation, and Russia quite naturally tries to promote its culture and language everywhere it can. What is rather unusual however in this self-promotion, is that more often than not it is accompanied by direct political and economic pressure, and aimed at direct political and economic gains. Many observers have noticed that the Russian media and politicians become deeply concerned about the plight of fellow-Russophones in the 'near abroad,' particularly on the eve of parliamentary and presidential elections, and become more tolerant as soon as they receive the desired political or economic concessions.
Such a 'pragmatic' policy may suit perfectly the neo-imperial, hegemonic ambitions of Russia's elites, but it hardly helps to overcome mutual prejudices and establish 'normal', friendly relations with their neighbors. It is up to Russian citizens to decide which is better for their country and for themselves: to re-establish empire with dubious power and questionable legacy, or to focus instead on internal problems and gradually transform Russia into a 'normal' European nation-state. In any case, it is worth remembering that every, even the most successful and 'civilized' hegemony has highly unpleasant side effects - mistrust, disgust, and hatred of the subjugated people.
"As long as there are strong Russian forces in Moscow that continue to see Ukraine as ancient Russian ancestral territory, Ukrainian nationalists will feel the need to keep their distance from everything Russian" [Kolsto 2000, 189]. Moreover, the common enemy would paradoxically unite the Ukrainophile intelligentsia and predominantly Russophone oligarchy, forcing them together "to keep Ukraine outside the embrace of Russia and to give the populace a separate identity", that is to strengthen the "credibility of the Ukrainian state project" by imbuing it with a "cultural context distinct from that of Russia" [Kolsto 2000, 193].
As long as models and mechanisms of cultural dominance are not properly analyzed, primarily by Russian scholars, the imperial myths deconstructed, and the cultural mainstream imbued with political correctness, Russian-Ukrainian (Russian-Belarusian, and so on) cultural tensions will not be resolved. Although Ukrainians and Belarusians:
are perceived as especially close relatives, good enough to cooperate with (...) they are not treated as socially or culturally equal [to Russians] and still are not recognized as separate nations with their own states. Most Russians still look at Ukrainians as Little Russians, that is a part of the Russian nation, and do not understand why Ukrainians need to promote their own language, culture, and state. Despite urbanization and industrialization, Ukrainians still are considered as underdeveloped rural folk, khokhols...Real 'friendship' between the people would be possible only after Russians recognize Ukrainians as an equal nation [Kappeler 1997, 142].
So far, Russian culture and, specifically, its ubiquitous, vociferous pop-forms are perceived by Ukrainophones as not quite alien but definitely hostile. Russia is demonized as a dark 'Oriental' force while resistance to Russian cultural influences is presented as a profound civilizational choice - between 'Europe' and 'Eurasia':
Rivalry between the two languages in Ukraine [a leading Ukrainian writer claims] is, in fact, one of concrete proofs of a more substantial controversy - between the new opportunities that Ukraine has gained as a new independent state and imperial inertia. To put it bluntly, the entire project of 'protection and preservation of the Russian language and culture' in Ukraine and the 'near abroad' is nothing but a project of actual preservation and further functioning of the Empire in its most essential aspects ...Meanwhile, Ukraine's new opportunities have become embodied in the opposite project - the radical break with Empire and gradual integration into an essentially non-Russian, European civilization. The project would seem to be very risky (I wouldn't say crazy) under current circumstances. But this makes it even more challenging and attractive for the new Ukrainian elites, particularly for the socially engaged youth. And the Ukrainian language is not just a sign but also a mean/tool/instrument of national self-liberation, of the great break, great project. One could say it's a symbol of the other, profoundly different, future [Andrukhovych 2001, 59].
Conclusion

Russian culture and language are certainly set to retain strong positions in both Ukraine and other post-Soviet republics. Both the old colonial legacies and new the laissez faire mechanisms of the free-market tend to support Russian cultural dominance in the 'near abroad', especially through mass culture and the mass media. Even if the Russian language were to be completely excluded from local educational curricula, it would largely retain its position for a long period to come because of cultural and economic needs and the presence of significant and socially advanced Russophone minorities.
On the other hand, all local elites, including those in Belarus [Leshchenko 2004], have their own reasons for finding the Russian cultural presence in their countries excessive and to seek measures to restrict this presence. Cultural elites are obviously interested in promoting their own culture when it is threatened by a stronger rival; political elites, which are more often than not Russophone themselves and/or better acquainted with Russian culture than with the native, nonetheless have a practical need to promote nation-building by forging a separate cultural identity, and even more practical need to limit the influence of the politically subversive Russian mass-media.
All the post-Soviet republics, however, are too weak both politically and economically and too dependent on Russia to wage any open war against Russian linguistic and cultural dominance. Many of them also depend on their own Russophone minorities, and even more so on the fear of local Soviet-style elites that a policy of too coherent and consistent de-Russification would ultimately mean the de-Sovietization of their fiefdoms, which would in turn inevitably undermine their authoritarian dominance. However, noblesse oblige. All of them will certainly tell Moscow what Moscow loves to hear most: charming words about the great Russian language and culture, historical ties, friendship and the need for further integration. But all of them will also pursue their own nationalizing policies gradually pushing Russian away, quietly but irreversibly. For this purpose, they will concede certain humanitarian and ideological positions to local 'national-democrats': first, to appease them and to briefly demonstrate a 'pluralistic' will to cooperate with the 'constructive opposition'; and second, to fire them as soon as Moscow notices that 'Ukrainization" ('Kazakhization', etc.) has gone too far.
Sooner or later, Russian cultural influence in the 'near abroad' will wane. The Russian diaspora will eventually decrease, the command of Russian among the natives will gradually decline, and the importance of Russia as the political, cultural, and economic center will be challenged and eventually subverted by the new centers of global and regional gravitation. So far, Russia has two options: to convert its current cultural influence into more concrete political, economic, and military gains, or to turn it into something less tangible but more durable - a sort of moral capital which could be invested in the 'normalization' of complex relations between the former colonies and the metropolis (the 'asymmetrical' relations between the US and Canada or within the British Commonwealth could be a pattern). The first development seems to be much more probable. Yet some opportunity for the second alternative still remains.


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Sandra Ponzanesi and Bolette B. Blaagaard (Ed.): “Deconstructing Europe. Postcolonial Perspectives”, by Paulina Gąsior

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Gjoko Muratovski: The use of built environments in the formation and change of national identities: the case of Macedonia and ‘Skopje 2014’

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Alexander Etkind: "Internal Colonization. Russia's Imperial Experience", by Madina Tlostanowa

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Neil Lazarus: The Postcolonial Unconscious", by Blanka Grzegorczyk

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Katarzyna Marciniak and Kamil Turowski: "Streets of Crocodiles: Photography, Media, and Postsocialist Landscapes in Poland", by Magdalena Kania Lundholm

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Sandra Ponzanesi and Bolette B. Blaagaard (Ed.): “Deconstructing Europe. Postcolonial Perspectives”, by Paulina Gąsior

Read more...

Gjoko Muratovski: The use of built environments in the formation and change of national identities: the case of Macedonia and ‘Skopje 2014’

Read more...

Alexander Etkind: "Internal Colonization. Russia's Imperial Experience", by Madina Tlostanowa

Read more...

Neil Lazarus: The Postcolonial Unconscious", by Blanka Grzegorczyk

Read more...

Katarzyna Marciniak and Kamil Turowski: "Streets of Crocodiles: Photography, Media, and Postsocialist Landscapes in Poland", by Magdalena Kania Lundholm

Read more...

Sandra Ponzanesi and Bolette B. Blaagaard (Ed.): “Deconstructing Europe. Postcolonial Perspectives”, by Paulina Gąsior

Read more...

Gjoko Muratovski: The use of built environments in the formation and change of national identities: the case of Macedonia and ‘Skopje 2014’

Read more...

Alexander Etkind: "Internal Colonization. Russia's Imperial Experience", by Madina Tlostanowa

Read more...

Neil Lazarus: The Postcolonial Unconscious", by Blanka Grzegorczyk

Read more...

Katarzyna Marciniak and Kamil Turowski: "Streets of Crocodiles: Photography, Media, and Postsocialist Landscapes in Poland", by Magdalena Kania Lundholm

Read more...

Sandra Ponzanesi and Bolette B. Blaagaard (Ed.): “Deconstructing Europe. Postcolonial Perspectives”, by Paulina Gąsior

Read more...

Gjoko Muratovski: The use of built environments in the formation and change of national identities: the case of Macedonia and ‘Skopje 2014’

Read more...

Alexander Etkind: "Internal Colonization. Russia's Imperial Experience", by Madina Tlostanowa

Read more...

Neil Lazarus: The Postcolonial Unconscious", by Blanka Grzegorczyk

Read more...

Katarzyna Marciniak and Kamil Turowski: "Streets of Crocodiles: Photography, Media, and Postsocialist Landscapes in Poland", by Magdalena Kania Lundholm

Read more...

Sandra Ponzanesi and Bolette B. Blaagaard (Ed.): “Deconstructing Europe. Postcolonial Perspectives”, by Paulina Gąsior

Read more...

Gjoko Muratovski: The use of built environments in the formation and change of national identities: the case of Macedonia and ‘Skopje 2014’

Read more...