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Antropologicheskij forum, 2020, no. 47

 

THE TIME CAPSULE IN THE POST-SOVIET SOVKHOZ

Elena Malaya

European University at St Petersburg
6/1А Gagarinskaya Str., St Petersburg, Russia
emalaia()eu.spb.ru

Abstract: The article is devoted to ideas about the Soviet era, widespread in а village in the north-east of Crimea. The paper offers an analysis of how the community, formed around a partially preserved state farm, builds its own picture of historical time, expands the imaginary boundaries of the Soviet period, and also thinks of it not so much as the past, but as the past future. Particular attention is paid to the object that organizes its temporality — а time capsule, which was laid twice in the studied village (in 1967 and in 2017), as well as its connection with the teleology of modernism. The article compares letters to descendants, sealed in two time capsules, as well as additional documents sent to the future. The text of the 1967 letter is based on a progressive narrative and contains a list of economic indicators of the success of the Soviet economy. By contrast, the 2017 text creates a picture of an unstable time of change, in which the focus is not on the predictable future, but on the vague past and present. The author of the article explains the nostalgia for the Soviet era in the studied community by the reaction to the changes and crises of the post-Soviet period, and suggests using temporal logic in the research of post-socialism.

Keywords: time capsule, anthropology of time, temporality, nostalgia, state farm (sovkhoz), post-Soviet period, Soviet times, Crimea.

Acknowledgements: The reported study was funded by the RFBR (research project № 18-39-00171).

To cite: Malaya E., ‘Kapsula vremeni v postsovetskom sovkhoze’ [The Time Capsule in the Post-Soviet Sovkhoz], Antropologicheskij forum, 2020, no. 47, pp. 84–110.

doi: 10.31250/1815-8870-2020-16-47-84-110

URL: http://anthropologie.kunstkamera.ru/files/pdf/047/malaya.pdf