Sound Archives from the Margin of the Soviet: Recording Gypsy Tales and Songs in the late Soviet Union - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Book Sections Year : 2024

Sound Archives from the Margin of the Soviet: Recording Gypsy Tales and Songs in the late Soviet Union

Abstract

While Gypsy culture regained favor in official culture of the late Soviet Union, with a probable peak in the early 1980s, two members of the Muscovite literary bohemia, writer Efim Druts (1937-2018) and bard Aleksei Gessler (1945-1998), recorded Gypsies in situ during the last decades of the Soviet Union. Should these sound archives be considered as the fruit of a conformist or, on the contrary, a dissident one? I will argue that the process of constituting these archives as well as their content and the way their authors attempted to make them accessible to the public challenge both the categories of conformism and dissent. Their history is a contribution to the story of a generation, the famous “shestidesianiki” and their thirst for collecting and archiving what remained at the fringes of the Soviet society in an uncertain status. the official Soviet Gypsy culture and the informal hippie subculture shared some common features: they were colorful, both gregarious and free from the dominant social habits, and above all close to nature. However, the public representation of the Gypsy world gave almost no access to the actual life of the Roma in the Soviet present. Neither Druts nor Gessler would have contextualized their recordings as “counter-archive”, but rather as an attempt, typical of their generation, to explore ways of living alien to the official Soviet norms and yet integral to the past and present cultural landscape
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Dates and versions

hal-04384651 , version 1 (10-01-2024)

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  • HAL Id : hal-04384651 , version 1

Cite

Nathalie Moine. Sound Archives from the Margin of the Soviet: Recording Gypsy Tales and Songs in the late Soviet Union. Palgrave Macmillan. „(Counter-)Archive: Memorial Practices of the Soviet Underground“, In press. ⟨hal-04384651⟩

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