[Monument and Celebration: An Ethnography of Victory Day]
Nestor-Istoriia, Saint Petersburg, 2020
416 p. 98 color illustrations.
Price: hardcover 500 rubles (approx. 5.75 euros), e-book 400 rubles (approx. 4.60 euros)
May 9, the day of the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany, remains the world’s most widely celebrated military holiday. Beyond official festivities, it is also an occasion for large-scaled popular celebrations involving millions of people across the world who, due to their family background or for political reasons, identify with this victory.
How is this day celebrated in different countries and cities? What is the role of Soviet war memorials in the festivities? How do political conflicts around the meaning of May 9 play out in urban space? Which new commemorative traditions have emerged since the fall of the Soviet Union and the disappearance of the Iron Curtain? How does Victory Day shape and sustain the identity of local communities, from Russian speakers in Lithuania to Odessites in Berlin?
On and around May 9, 2013, a team of scholars from different disciplines set out to answer these and other questions by observing the celebrations and interviewing participants in a range of cities and small towns across the former Soviet Union and beyond. The book presents their observations of festivities from Sortavala in Karelia to Grozny in Chechnya and from Sofia to Vienna and Berlin. Along with a German volume that documents a successor project from 2015, this book provides fascinating glimpses into the past and present of one of the most important commemorative dates of our age.