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Friday, 20 April 2018


Dying Memory

2010-07-12 18:07

6340.jpegGeorgians are not Chingiz Aitmatov's mancurts yet protesting against demolition of Kutaisi monument and defending the sculpture of Stalin as a symbol of history. Still, efforts that the Georgian authorities apply are not in vain: good memories of the past shared with Russia gets gradually erased from people's minds. In 2005 four authors from Georgia submitted their works to Moscow literary contest Undying Memory. This year, however, there was none.


Once the victory in the Great Patriotic War brought Russians, Georgians, Armenians and Kazakhs together to stand as a united Soviet nation. Right or wrong as it was but it was a community of people considered "friends" in Tbilisi, Bishkek, Kiev and Moscow. With the collapse of the USSR citizens of independent states didn't lose this notion of unity.

Some post-Soviet governments left this problem to be solved by time. Others, like Georgia, purposely destroy everything that connects their nation with the Soviet past. The 1945 Victory - the one for all - grew into a major target in the struggle for the new Georgian state's identity. 

It is seen in the way actions of Georgian units in the fascist army are presented, by the ease memorials to the defenders of the Motherland are done away with. One fact that no Georgian author dares to submit their works to Undying Memory contest in Moscow demonstrates a lot. The contest was proposed by Senator magazine and personally by its editor-in-chief Fred Iskanderov.

This year the International Literary Contest dedicated to the 65th anniversary of the Victory is held for the second time. In 2005 it was organized for the first time which was the right moment: writing memorials without minding censors was impossible in Soviet years. In messy 1990s there was no time to write them. Now, however, the interest to the past events is as high as ever. One is free to write anything about the war up to Viktor Suvorov's apocryphal stories. "We receive materials that earlier could be published only abroad", - Iskanderov emphasizes.

Most part of the works are memoirs written down by children and grandchildren of the participants of the war. "We have found lots of touching stories. It is not true there are no good movie scripts. It's just non-achievers that write them caring about nothing except for money". - the organizer and the first critic of the submitted works says.

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