My address is the Soviet Union - or is it? Baltic identity in souvenir production within the Soviet discourse

Direct Link:
Mokslo publikacijos / Scientific publications
Document Type:
Straipsnis / Article
Anglų kalba / English
My address is the Soviet Union - or is it? Baltic identity in souvenir production within the Soviet discourse
In the Journal:
Journal of material culture. 2021, Online first, 1 pdf (19 p.)
Reikšminiai žodžiai: Sovietmetis; 20 amžius; Estija (Estonia); Latvija (Latvia); Dizainas; Suvenyrai; Soviet times; 20th century; Design; Souvenirs.
Dizainas; Suvenyrai.
20th century; Design; Souvenirs; Soviet times.
Summary / Abstract:

ENIn the 1960s, tourism in the Soviet Union underwent radical changes. While previously the focus had been on showcasing the rapid modernization of the empire, this new type of tourism focused on introducing foreigners to the regional vernacular culture in the Soviet Union. As the number of tourists increased, the need for wider mass production of souvenirs emerged. This research focuses on the identity of souvenirs produced in Baltic states as a case study for identifying the existence and nature of regionalism within the Soviet system. This study found that within Baltic souvenir production, two separate types of identities manifested. Firstly, the use of national or vernacular symbols was allowed and even promoted throughout the Soviet Union. A famous slogan of the era was ‘Socialist in content, national in form’, which suggested that national form was suitable for conveying socialist ideals. These products were usually made of local materials and employed traditional national ornament. However, this research identified a secondary identity within the souvenirs manufactured in the Baltic countries, which was based on a shared ‘European past’. The symbol often chosen to convey it was the pre-Soviet Old Town, which was in all three states based on Western and Central European architectural traditions. This research suggests that this European identity validated through the use of Old Town as a recurring motif on souvenirs, distinguished Baltic states from the other regions of the Soviet Union. While most souvenirs manufactured in the Soviet Union emphasized the image of locals as the exotic ‘Other’, Baltic souvenirs inspired by Old Town conveyed the idea of familiarity to European tourists. [From the publication]

Related Publications:
2022-03-31 13:49:51
Views: 16    Downloads: 4