In the early 1990s, after the collapse of communism in Russia, Soviet material and visual culture had been forced into obscurity by the allconquering Western media and pop culture. The excitement and hopes connected with President Yeltsin’s reforms gave way to disappointment, melancholia and a desire for stability and security. Nostalgic voices became more prominent, and the old Soviet sign system slowly started to seep back into the fabric of Russian culture. Around this time, Soviet-nostalgia-themed restaurants opened their doors. Television channels in the same vein began showing reruns of old Soviet films, children’s cartoons and broadcasting documentaries and talk shows where the presenters and guests discussed various aspects of life in the USSR. In the 2000s, nostalgia for the Soviet past was exploited first for commercial and then for political purposes. Many voices began to speak of a return to the USSR.
Combining Raymond Williams’ concept of structure of feeling with theories of mediation and nostalgia, this book examines the changes that occurred in representations of the Soviet past in Russian culture from 1991 to 2012, covering a wide range of mediating arenas.
Ekaterina Kalinina earned MA degrees in Art History at St Petersburg University and in European Studies at Uppsala University. Her PhD project in Media and Communication Studies was carried out under the auspices of the Baltic and East European Graduate School (BEEGS) and the Research Area on Critical and Cultural Theory, Södertörn University. She has also been a visiting researcher at Copenhagen University and Aarhus University.