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Narratives of Exile and Identity

Soviet Deportation Memoirs from the Baltic States

Edited by Tomas Balkelis and Violeta Davoliute

Violeta Davoliūtė is Researcher at the Institute of Lithuanian Literature, Vilnius

Tomas Balkelis is Research Fellow at the University College Dublin, Dublin

This collection of essays considers the Soviet-era gulag in the Baltic States within the broader international research on displacement and cultural memory. Scholars from the Baltic States, Western Europe, Canada, and the United States explore the following questions: Do different groups of deportees experience deportation differently? How do the accounts of women, children and men differ? Do various ethnic groups remember the past differently? How do they use historical and cultural paradigms to structure their experience in unique ways? To
answer these questions the authors researched archives, read testimonies (with an emphasis on testimonies by women and children), interviewed former deportees, and examined cultural artifacts produced since the late 1980s, applying cross-disciplinary approaches used in the study of Holocaust testimonies.
The essays in the book also examine the issues of cultural transmission and commemoration, as well as public manifestations of the after-effects of deportations in contemporary social, cultural and political contexts of Baltic societies, including refl ections of the Gulag in literature, the cinema and museums.

230 pages, forthcoming in 2017
978-963-386-183-7 cloth
$60.00 / €53.00 / £46.00

Table of Contents

Foreword (Katherine Jolluck)

Introduction ( Violeta Davoliūtė, Tomas Balkelis) 

A Soviet Story: Mass Deportation, Isolation, Return (Alain Blum, Emilia Koustova)

Ethnicity and Identity in the Memoirs of Lithuanian Children Deported to the Gulag (Tomas Balkelis)

Homeless Forever: Home and Homelessness among Deportees from Estonia (Aigi Rahi-Tamm)

Official and Individual Perceptions: Squaring the History of Soviet Deportations with the Circle of Testimony in Latvia (Aldis Purs)

Gendering “History of Fighting and Suffering”: War and Deportation in the Narratives of Women Resistance Fighters in Lithuania (Dovilė Budrytė)

“We Are All Deportees.” The Trauma of Displacement and the Consolidation of National Identity during the Popular Movement in Lithuania (Violeta Davoliūtė)

Hegemony or Legitimacy? Assembling Soviet Deportations in Lithuanian Museums (Eglė Rindzevičiūtė)

Breaking the Silence? Contradiction and Consistency in Representing Victimhood in Baltic Museums of Occupations (Aro Velmet)