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Journal Articles La Revue russe Year : 2013

The Soviet tradition of the subbotniki in Lukashenko’s Belarus

La tradition soviétique des subbotniki dans la Biélorussie de Loukachenko

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Ronan Hervouet

Abstract

Since his first election in 1994, President Lukashenko has overtly placed himself in line with the Soviet heritage. Not only has the Soviet past, readapted and given back its legitimacy, been flooding the symbols of the new state (its flag and its holidays), it has also spread into the reference sources of public policies (the agrovilles), the methods of the government (the propagation of fear in the social body by state security forces still known today as the KGB), and the making of national memory (the repression of the Kurapaty mass executions by NKVD officers in the 1930s). In such a context, it becomes interesting to try and understand how everyday Belarusians connect to or stay away from these discourses and measures coming from “ above”. this article will examine the subbotnik ritual, discarded after the dissolution of the soviet union, but reinstitutionalized in 1997. Its author has carried out ethnographic research in Belarus in the years 2000. The results show that the reasons behind the participation of everyday citizens in these day events are different from those promoted by the power in place. However, if the feelings of solidarity conferred by the subbotniki are not the direct result of state discourses, they still work as an echo chamber, favoring the legitimization of the dictatorial regime.
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Dates and versions

halshs-00964817 , version 1 (08-11-2022)

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Attribution - NonCommercial - NoDerivatives - CC BY 4.0

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Ronan Hervouet. La tradition soviétique des subbotniki dans la Biélorussie de Loukachenko. La Revue russe, 2013, Que reste-t-il de l'Union soviétique dans la Russie d'aujourd'hui ?, 41, pp.25-36. ⟨10.3406/russe.2013.2595⟩. ⟨halshs-00964817⟩
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