Review of Galvanizing Nostalgia? Indigeneity and Sovereignty in Siberia

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Recent decades have seen a proliferation of social science studies focusing on nostal- gia in post-socialist countries. The number of nostalgia-driven takes on post-socialism has grown substantially, turning nostalgia into a dominant paradigm for understand- ing experiences of the social upheavals following the collapse of socialism. A range of scholarly discourses on post-socialist nostalgia with all its shades, twists, and turns is exhilaratingly wide ranging, from the politics of memory and past-oriented nostalgia to social action, cultural production, and affective futurities. In my view the most recent book by Marjorie Mandelstam-Balzer, presenting profiles of the three Siberian Republics of Buriatiia, Tuva, and Sakha, stands out for its environmental and ethnonational focus that helps unpack the ways nostalgia produces a galvaniz- ing effect for environmental activism: activism that has been formed in response to the decades of communal spiritual revitalization efforts, “encroachment of political, cultural and human rights alongside erosion of territorial guarantees, and unprec- edented industrialization without adequate ecological oversight” (165).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)254-256
Number of pages3
JournalSlavic Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 3 Aug 2023


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