The Role of the Soviet Past in Contemporary Georgia

The ambivalence of the Soviet past is not an issue that has been consigned to history – it remains clearly visible in the contemporary post-Soviet space. The past pursues each new generation, creating a fresh narrative in accordance with politics, culture, time, and understandings of “right” and “healthy.” However, the ways in which history is remembered have dramatically changed over the last two decades. National memory and the composite memories of communities are being changed and reformulated under the weight of globalization processes. The purpose of this study is to analyze how the interaction of global and local actors shapes the narrative about the Soviet past in contemporary Georgia. The paper analyzes these processes by looking into the public and academic debates in Georgia. The results of the study show that governments play a leading role in these processes. However, influenced by the phenomenon of globalization, the role of the state is diminishing as new forces enter the stage. Therefore, states are looking for new and creative ways to maintain their control over the memory creation processes.

Keywords: Post-Soviet Space, Georgia, Memory Studies, Globalization

Authors: Gvantsa Gasviani