Smolny Beyond Borders

A Liberal Arts Initiative

Soviet Atlantis. A Melancholic Fantasy of the Post-Soviet Subject


Lecture Date:

Monday, November 28, 7 pm (UTC+3)

In the year of the collapse of the USSR, near the coast of Crimea, a retired colonel of the Soviet army and an amateur diver dipped to the bottom a bust of Lenin, which he found in a landfill in his hometown of Donetsk. Over the next 30 years, an entire underwater pantheon of Soviet leaders formed around the submerged leader, whose statues and busts were brought to the Crimea by divers living in various post-Soviet republics to dip them to the seabed. An example of this handmade Soviet Atlantis (numerous photos and videos documenting the underwater world of a bygone era) allows us to talk about how the post-Soviet society imagines its recent past, how this past is present in our time, appearing to us as a dream appears to the sleeper.