(Re)producing spaces, deriving identities: symbolic appropriation of the Second World War monuments in post-Soviet Moldova
Gabriela Popa – 2008
The paper focuses on the symbolic changes of the Soviet monuments dedicated to the Second World War (Great Patriotic War) by using the concept of appropriation. After the collapse of Soviet Union, the newly independent Moldovan state has mobilized both the Soviet legacy and the emerging national iconography to strengthen its political legitimacy at a time of risky identity, as well as economic and social uncertainties. This symbolic mobilization is significantly reflected in the way the Second World War memorials were appropriated by the public authorities and the ordinary people during public holidays and yearly performances in the post-Soviet period. The Second World War monuments provided the “imaginative space” in which the quest for identities and meaning occurred after the collapse of Soviet Union. Its examination will indicate, among others, the features of post-Soviet identities, national and beyond.