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Cultures of History Forum

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The entrance staircase displaying the motto of the museum building and exhibition

Exhibiting 20th Century History

Feeling the Horrors of Latvia’s 20th Century

The New Exhibition of the Occupation Museum in Riga

Katja Wezel ·


The new permanent exhibition at the Museum of the Occupation of Latvia in Old Town Riga has finally opened its doors to the public. The completely revamped exhibition covers altogether 11 'chapters' of Latvia's 20th-century history, from the interwar republic through Soviet and Nazi occupation all the way to re-independence. With its use of modern technology, the museum tells a narrative of suffering and resilience that tries to appeal to its visitors' emotions, running the risk of overwhelming them.

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Painting by Taalay Usubaliev depicting all post-Soviet presidents of Kyrgystan and entitled “Ata-Beyit” (2021)

Exhibiting 20th Century History

Creating ‘Kyrgyzness’

The Many Narratives of the Memorial Complex Ata-Beyit

Gero Fedtke and Ivan Fukalov ·


Since gaining independence, Kyrgyzstan has struggled to reconcile its imperial and Soviet history with a post-imperial historical narrative that would be able to unite contemporary Kyrgyz society in a nation-state. No memorial site embodies this more than the Ata-Beyit Memorial Complex near Bishkek. The grave sites and memorials assembled here represent three periods of Kyrgyzstan's 20th century history all at once. The article traces their history and discusses their changing meaning over time.

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Secret agent as Soviet superhero: Vyacheslav Tikhonov as Max Otto von Stierlitz in the Soviet TV series ‘Seventeen Moments of Spring’

Politics of History

The Pop-Cultural Lineage of Russia’s Anti-Fascist Discourse

Unravelling the Plot of Russia’s War on Ukraine

Violeta Davoliūtė ·


While Putin’s plan to launch a full-scale invasion of Ukraine has been widely understood as irrational, it is entirely consistent with the “anti-fascist” discourse of his regime. The article discusses how this discourse draws on the political and cultural neo-traditionalism crystalized in 1970s Soviet TV serials that vilified the West, defined a new Soviet war hero, and nurtured a cryptic fascination with Nazism.

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