Commemoration of 1917 Revolution

Commemorating an event that never occurred: Russian October in Soviet Ukraine in the 1920’s

International conference The InternationalEchoes of the Commemorations of the October Revolution(1918-1990) 

Switzerland, University of Lausanne, Géopolis (Room: 2227) 14-16 September 2016

As a matter of fact, оctober/november 1917 in Ukraine was not a time for revolution nor for upheaval: as the old state apparatus was continually challenged by various self-proclaimed local institutions since february, one could only witness on november 20th the creation of the Ukrainian National Republic by the Central Rada in response to the bolsheviks’ coup. Even though a Ukrainian soviet republic was firstly proclaimed on december the 25th 1917, the communists didn’t take over Ukraine until the beginning of 1919 and their power was only secured in 1920 in the course of a cruel civil war.

Nevertheless October was a crucial part of the identity and mythology for the ukrainian bolsheviks as it was for their russian counterparts. From the very beginning, October was celebrated and commemorated in red Ukraine, regardless to its fairly remote nature.

We would like to emphasize this paradox by studying commemorating practices in the early 1920’s. We will analyze how the Central committee of the Communist Party of Ukraine monitored the anniversaries of October from 1921 to 1927.

Slides of the presentation here.