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#30PostSovietYears: Phantom Pasts or Everyday Present?

18 August – 2 October 2021

To what extent do remnants of the socialist past correspond with the present identity of a young generation? What do they mean to those, who have not experienced the period before 1991?

Thirty years after the dissolution of the Soviet Union and socialist regimes in Central and Eastern Europe, young people aged 18-24 years with a biographical link to these regions will reflect on their affiliations with the past both theoretically and practically in a digital programme.

Photo: Pixabay

From 18 August to 2 October 2021, participants will explore how the USSR and the periods of Soviet and East European socialism(s) are remembered in different countries. Why do memory politics and cultures of remembrance of the socialist period radically differ in various regions, and what does this tell us about historical justice, contemporary politics, and visions of the future? To what extent do these historical narratives reflect the identities of the post-socialist generation? Participants from 14 countries, ranging from Kyrgyzstan via Serbia to Poland and Germany, will find out how these differences in legacies and identities materialise in urban landscapes across the post-socialist space – by employing different sensory tools to creatively capture their relationship to the physical and mental traces of the past.

Equipped with a phone camera, a sound recorder, and own senses, they will stroll through urban landscapes and capture material objects and stories tied to the socialist past. Together, the group will create a multimedia zine visualising the interplay between past and present in various post-socialist localities. Results will be published here in autumn 2021 – stay tuned!


Lilit Dabagian, Kyrgyzstan
David Leupold, Germany


18 August to 2 October 2021
(8 sessions of 3-4 hours on Wednesdays and/or Saturdays)


20 participants aged 18-24 years with personal ties to the post-socialist or post-Soviet space. From the EUSTORY Network and its partners, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung and the Centre for East European an International Studies (ZOiS)



Final Product

A digital multimedia zine with street photographs, soundscapes, video clips, personal stories and fragmentary dialogues

In cooperation with


This digital programme is part of the initiative