Plural Memories and Dissonant Legacies: Soviet Architectural Heritage in Putin’s Russia

Manufacturing the Historical Narrative
By Julie Deschepper

The historical value of the Soviet architectural and monumental heritage is sometimes questioned or even denied. Yet in other cases, it is actually promoted. This varying degree of interest and these multiple discourses, exacerbated since the mid-2000s, primarily illustrate the diversity of memories of the Soviet period and the dissonance of this heritage. Using case studies in Moscow and Yekaterinburg, this paper highlights plural reinvestments of the Soviet architectural heritage. Thus, the redistribution in urban areas of tangible signs of the grandeur of the Stalinist past, ranging from restoring monuments to rebuilding them, as well as the destruction of buildings or citizens’ movements to preserve avant-garde heritage, are analysed in order to shed light on the political and social uses of the past in contemporary Russia.

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