Efim, Emil, and Eksi

There was a man in the Kharkiv of my childhood. He lived very centrally, somewhere in the numerous green courtyards right off the city’s main square (if I remember correctly). His name sounded like sand on a windy beach: Efim Isaakovich.

Russian Sketch 2

Bus number 7 was taking its time. I stood on a bus stop on Shkiperskii Protok, watching the sky for signs of rain, on my way to the Hermitage for a BBC World Service recording. An elderly lady in a purple beret stood nearby, counting change in her hand.

Drobitsky Yar – 2

A shortened version of the Drobitsky Yar piece is printed in the Memory at War newsletter (Issue No. 11, October 2012) — just in time to mark the October 24 anniversary of the occupation of Kharkov.

Il Palio: a Lesson in Boundaries

After these two PhD years, by the end of Easter term, I was understandably ready for a little break – ideally, away from Slavonics, and ideally, away from memory studies in general. So when an opportunity cropped up to spend some time in Siena this summer, I jumped at the chance. And who wouldn’t?

Massacre of Ray

I’ve been wanting to write this down for quite a while – for a year, actually. There is a place in Donegal which, to me, represents memory and memory studies combined. But in a bizarre turn of events, it is all but remembered in the wider world.

Death and the Maiden: Roberto’s Choice

“She’s mad, she needs therapy.” — “You are her therapy.” When I watched Ariel Dorfman’s “Death and the Maiden” (directed by Roman Polanski in 1994) for the first time, I had just entered my teens. And I remember feeling overcome by something that felt like a silver-lined cloud. The silver lining was a sense of…

Drobitsky Yar

As the Wehrmacht army entered Ukraine in 1941, prosecutor Maj. Alexander Maiboroda grabbed the last truck in the column of people fleeing from the oncoming soldiers. Into its open luggage compartment he helped his Jewish wife, Ethel, and their three young children – a boy and two girls.

Memory and Theory Conference

July’s first week was thoroughly conference-themed. It all started on Monday with a two-day conference entitled Memory and Theory in Eastern Europe, taking place at King’s College, Cambridge. This specialized event attracted some serious heavy-weights of memory theory, as well as a whole set of experts who work in memory studies.