Sumy: Sorrow of my days

(2018 - 2021)
By Pavlo Borshchenko

What is “Soviet” for people who never lived in the Soviet Union?

In this series, I try to show the view of the Soviet by my generation who was born during the collapse of the USSR.

Nurtured in childhood, this sovietness lives in us. It was formed through continuity in education and the prism of modern propaganda of the entire Soviet. There were no more pioneers, but there were pioneer camps, there was no Lenin in school, but he was still on our squares, there was no cosmos in the news, but it was imaged on badges and stamps.

All these things were the reason for the ongoing formation of a purely Soviet utopian horizon of happiness in the future for new generations on a background of a complete gray and not interesting present.

We are formed in this vein, but now we are faced with the absolute illusory of this horizon, also as the older generations feel the pain of its loss. This sense of utopia's losing was stronger relatively as smaller and most depressing cities were. For me, this is the case explaining the power of using space in ideological propaganda, which is so important in small cities and villages to compensate for the emptiness of the nowadays.

I used my native city name “Sumy” for this series: “Sumy: Sorrow of my days”, as for me it's a good illustration of the depressive place whose has the best time is in the past. In my native language name Sumy consonant with the “Sorrow” word context.

This is a kind of post-truth of that time based on real artifacts of this era by applying them with new meanings or with elements of “cargo cult” when nobody knows how to apply it in an original way.

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