Memory and Heritage Before and After 1991: A Case Study from the Solovetsky Islands

Author(s): Margaret A Comer

Year: 2015


            As recent battles over the fate and meaning of the gulag site in Perm have shown, gulag heritage in Russia remains highly dissonant.  Questions of how to manage and interpret former gulags have become increasingly politically charged in the last few years, following a brief thaw during the perestroika and glasnost periods.  The island site of the infamous Solvetsky Gulag offers an illuminating case study of the struggles of stakeholders – monks, other island residents, tourism industry workers, visitors, archaeologists, those with personal or family ties to the site, etc. – to balance the preservation of physical heritage and interpretation of cultural heritage, both at the site and in wider arenas, with concurrent concerns like community development, catering to differing visitor needs and desires (e.g., pilgrimages and whale watching), and responding to government, religious, and popular pressures surrounding the question of what this site means for Russia and for the world.

Cite this Record

Memory and Heritage Before and After 1991: A Case Study from the Solovetsky Islands. Margaret A Comer. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Seattle, Washington. 2015 ( tDAR id: 433747)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections


Gulag heritage Memory

Geographic Keywords
North America United States of America

Temporal Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 563