#1 — Negotiating with history
After the bloody violent Euromaidan revolution left a country in tatters, bruised and divided, you would think that getting rid of some statues would be the least of the new Ukranian Government’s priorities. Well, you would be surprised.
As Ukraine rose from the ashes of the violent revolution, one of the first things they did was pass a series of “decommunization” laws, mandating towns and villages to rid themselves of any Soviet-era reminders within a year, triggering the Leninopad or “Falling of the Lenins”. And the towns didn’t really have a choice in the matter, much like under the Soviet rule — oh, the irony!
But is clearing out the Lenin statues, and de-Sovietising town names just a step towards removing symbols of oppression, or is it erasing (and possibly denying) a part of your history? After all, lots of Ukranian cities (and their inhabitants) owed their well-being to the Industrial progress brought about by their Soviet overlords.
More importantly, shouldn’t the symbols stand as a reminder of the oppression and the brutality of the Gulag, of the importance of free press, so we don’t repeat the mistakes of our past?
Would America be such a vocal supporter of human rights, if not for their tryst with slavery? Or would India be this vast, united (in region and culture) nation, if not for our Mughal and British rulers? Our society has always been shaped by our history, both the good and the bad parts — let’s remember that.
This is the very first mindbyte, an apple-a-day for your mind. Thoughtful, interesting, provocative and funny insights from all around the world. Issue#1 brought to you by the beautiful nerds at 99% Invisible, the best design podcast hands-down.