Cover Osteuropa 1-2/2018

In Osteuropa 1-2/2018

Polyphonies on the ruins of socialism
Svetlana Alexievich’s work from the perspective of oral history

Julia Obertreis

Deutsche Fassung


Svetlana Alexievich is sometimes linked to oral history. However, her work not only belongs to this discipline. It is as a writer that Alexievich processes and presents the interviews she has conducted. However, as is the case with oral history, she gives a voice to those individuals whose experiences are not included in the official historical narratives. Alexievich’s work offers numerous impulses for historical studies and the humanities to examine aspects of socialist and post-socialist society that have otherwise been neglected. These include the handling of the consequences of the Stalinist terror and how people experienced the radical changes in the late 1980s and early 1990s, which frequently led to losses on a material and psychological level.

(Osteuropa 1-2/2018, pp. 117–134)