This article* is dedicated to the regional studies movement in Soviet Lithuania, primarily to ethnography, and argues that Lithuanian ethnographers conducted ethnographic research in different ways. The focus is on the Ramuva movement, founded in 1970 at Vilnius University and continuing until 1994. The activities of the Lithuanian regional studies movement were characterised by diverse education and ethnographic practices. I assert that the key to the success of Ramuva’s activity was a creative circumventing of Soviet ideology and practice. Through a discussion of theoretical issues and the results of fieldwork, I analyse the following questions: How did Marxism–Leninism change ethnography in Soviet Lithuania? What were the activities, methods and theory of regional research? Was Ramuva’s policy of knowledge production in opposition to the Soviet regime?
: Architecture and Housing in SovietLithuania. Berlin: DOM publishers, 2017, 250 p. 10. Milerius, N. Breaking point : from soviet to post-soviet city [online]. ARCHITECTURE [publication] FUND [cited 12.09.2017]. http://www.archfondas.lt/leidiniu/alf-03/ese/nerijus-milerius 11. Hirt, A. S. Landscapes of Postmodernity : Changes in the Built Fabric of Belgrade and Sofia Since the End of Socialism. Urban Geography, Vol. 29, Issue 8, 2008. pp. 785–810. http://dx.doi.org/10.2747/0272-36188.8.131.525 . 12. Hirt, A. S. Iron curtains : gates, suburbs, and privatization of
The paper analyses the transformation of the collective memory of the Lithuanian guerrilla war (1944–1953) during the Soviet occupation. The problem that arises on observation of the collective memory of Guerrilla war period is the disparity between the sense and meaning of the guerilla war as it was happening and the shapes of its memory that emerged at the beginning of the perestrojka and the reestablishment of the independence. The shift from the high support for the resistance and it’s goals in the 50’s to the ignorance of it can be observed, as well as the changing of the perception of it as the fight between two sovereign countries (Lithuania and the SSRS) towards the internal conflict in Lithuanian society. The paper raises the question about the reasons for this transformation and the impact of Soviet propaganda (expanding it to the scope of “historical culture” in Jorn Rüsen terms). The research of one peculiar sphere of soviet historical culture, that is, the building of monuments and carrying out of the related memorial practices, proved, that the forms and the intensity of the development of the soviet narrative of the Lithuanian Guerrilla war were poor and inconsequential. Such a results support the hypothesis that the soviet historical culture was not decisive in transformation of a collective memory, and that suggests to pay more attention not to the actions of the regime, but to sociological, sociohistorical and anthropological research of Lithuanian soviet society.
Totalitarian regimes attempt to restrict and control virtually every aspect of human life. Interestingly, conscious reflection on disciplinary practises takes up only a small part of the life-stories of interviewed Lithuanians, as far as the memory of the post-Stalin era is concerned. The interviews that form the foundation for this paper were conducted during the summer of 2017 in three different districts in Lithuania. The article aims to answer the following two research questions:
1) Which mechanisms of discipline did people recognize and reflect upon?
2) How were disciplinary actions remembered and described?
According to interviews, tangible individuals filled the role of disciplinarians in schools and workplaces. In addition, the responsibility for discipline and control lies within the imperceptible disciplinarian, supplemented by the invisible discipline of the collective. This led to overwhelming uncertainty in the society, where people invoked intuition and interpretations of who is trustworthy to adapt to uncertain situations. The greatest impact of the totalitarian discipline was that people effectively internalized it and consequently became their own most significant disciplinarians.
The Cold War that shaped the societies of late modernity had penetrated everyday life with constant messages about the nuclear threat and demonstrations of military power. On the one hand, Soviet republics such as Lithuania were occupied by the enemy of Western democracies, and the nuclear threat would apply to their territory as well. On the other hand, many people secretly sided with the West. But information about the world behind the Iron Curtain was filtered ideologically. Images of Vietnam War and civil unrest in Western countries were broadcasted by the state controlled media as a counterpoint to the orderly and optimistic Soviet life idealised in chronicles and photographs. This positive image was shown to rest on the victory of the Great Patriotic War as well as October Revolution. Those events were represented by iconic monuments in the public space as well as by memorialization rituals taking place every half-year. Their visual documentation was an important part of Soviet culture. Photo journalists like Ilja Fišeris were assigned to record the parades of May the 1st, the 9th and November the 7th. Art photographers treated such images as a tribute to authorities exchanged for a measure of artistic freedom. But in the 1980s, the memorialization rituals, the monuments and other ideological signs became the focus of “rogue” art photographers and cinematographers: Artūras Barysas-Baras, Vytautas Balčytis, Vitas Luckus, Alfonsas Maldutis, Algirdas Šeškus, Remigijus Pačėsa and Gintaras Zinkevičius. Their ironic and reflective images worked as dislocating counter-memorials against the stale reconstructions of the past. Referring to theories of Svetlana Boym, Verónica Tello and Ariella Azoulay, the paper discusses the complicated relationships between the different memorializations of war, including the absence of the Holocaust in collective memory.
The Exceptional State of the Media: Some Experiences in Post-Soviet Lithuania
Theoretical attempts to solve the problem of exception inevitably draw attention to the conflict between freedom and equality, the core values of a democratic society. Granting exclusive rights to one institution or another is justified by the principle of freedom, yet this does not necessarily comply with the idea of equality. Experience shows that it is difficult to avoid exceptions and exceptional rights in the search for consensus in a democracy. Using the popular myth of the fourth estate, media often claims such special rights.
This article examines how over twenty years of independence Lithuania has treated one of the most widely applied privileges of mass media - confidentiality of the source of information. When discussing how in practice Lithuania implements the right to deny false claims, it is assumed that mass media disregards all information accuracy principles and aims to portray itself, at least in its own eyes, as an infallible institution having exclusive rights. The country's weak declarations of interest traditions, which have not yet fully developed in the past fifteen years, only strengthen such mass media attempts.
Exclusiveness is in the nature of the media already, in that it helps to draw the attention of the public and can provide significant economic benefits. On the other hand, a privileged position often damages the media, since the fourth estate is special - its authority should be based not on rights and privileges, but on trust.
Lithuanian theatre has always been known for its visual metaphors and dramaturgy of directorial images, where the language of literary text is translated into visual metaphors created on stage by a director. Due to this quality, some critics have argued that Lithuanian theatre has been demonstrating postdramatic characteristics for a long time. However, one should note that visual metaphors of modern Lithuanian theatre have been based on and controlled by literary text and never quite established a more autonomous and self-contained visuality. Dramatic text remained the point of departure whether the director chose to illustrate or concretise it, to transform or deform it. However, in post-Soviet Lithuanian theatre, these relations have been gradually turning discontinuous, their intensity often varied within the framework of the same performance. Fragmentary cracks, when images, departed from the roles of commentators or illustrators of textual meanings, turned into flashes of independent visions that were seen by the critics as an obvious shift towards a radical image-centric position or, to use the term of Hans-Thies Lehmann, postdramatic theatre. However, the recent performance Lokis (2017, Lithuanian National Drama Theatre) by Polish theatre artist Lukasz Twarkowski, produced twenty years after the initial introduction of the term postdramatic into the Lithuanian context, has paradoxically started a storm of divisive opinions in the Lithuanian theatre milieu. It became the focal point of discussions about the intrinsic character of Lithuanian theatre, especially its embedded attitudes towards drama text and acting—notoriously challenging factors for many international collaborations. The article analyses the ongoing debates about the term postdramatic theatre and its interpretations in Lithuanian theatre criticism, taking the example of Lokis as a case study.
Post-Soviet Transformation of Bureaucracy in Lithuania: Main Features and Trends
The purpose of this article is to analyze the reforms and development of public administration and public bureaucracy in Lithuania from the prism of the post-Soviet transformation concept. In other words, the effort is to establish a continuation of the features of the Soviet bureaucratic - administrative system, to the extent these can be discussed, and their influence on the public bureaucracy of the independent Republic of Lithuania. It is being ascertained that the purpose of the reforms in Lithuania's State civil services was to develop a stable, professional and politically neutral public bureaucracy; i.e., a classical bureaucracy based on Max Weber's type of an ideal bureaucracy. Certain aspects of reforms were successfully implemented. However, at the behavioural level, the public bureaucracy in post-Soviet Lithuania is still predominately a variant of a pseudo-bureaucracy.
One unforeseen outcome of the reforms was a weakening of political control over the bureaucracy. This occurred, because needed attention was not paid to the two-fold nature of politicization. Along with personnel management that is politicized, the functional politicization of the upper levels of civil service is also known. The latter is specifically considered one of the prerequisites for the successful implementation of public policy, adequate to the political control of public administration. Actualization of plans for the functional re-politicization of senior officials was undertaken after the 2008 elections to the Seimas [parliamentary body] of the Republic of Lithuania. These should not be assessed as a political whim but as a necessary response to the situation which had formed.
relations in the industrialized mass housing and its reflections in the SovietLithuania. Lithuanian Historical Studies , 2011, Vol. 15, pp. 11–27. 6. Grunskis, T., Šiupšinskas, M. Tarybinio laikotarpio viešųjų erdvių transformacijos Lietuvoje. Vilniaus Žirmūnų ir Lazdynų atvejis. Journal of Architecture and Urbanism , 2012, Vol. 36, Issue 3, pp. 209–221. https://doi.org/10.3846/20297955.2012.732492 7. Grunskis, T., Mankus, M. The system of urban public spaces in the post-communist sociocultural context. Journal of Architecture and Urbanism , 2013, Vol. 37, Issue
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