Installing a Biography: The Intertwined Pathway of a Last Address Memorial Plaque in Post-Soviet Russia


  • Ben Gurion Universiry


In this paper, I examine the trajectory of a commemorative plaque that is part of the Last Address initiative. Drawing on ethnographic work I conducted in Saint Petersburg, I show how a German commemorational idea of the post-

-Nazi past migrated to post-Soviet Russia. I analyze the movement of the plaque in space and time, and reveal the post-Soviet Russian character of the initiative. By tracing the circulation of the plaque in the public sphere, I aim to show the entwinement of two biographies: that of the commemorated individual and that of the physical plaque itself. The paper demonstrates how the biographies provoke the emergence of bottom-up discourses on the soviet violent past of Russia.