CMSPS Seminar Presentation “Communicating contested memories in a commercial setting: an examination of post-Soviet city tours” 1 July 2020

Alena Pfoser and Guzel Yusupova will be presenting some findings of the Tourism as Memory-Making project at the CMSPS Seminar Series at Loughborough University on 1st July 2020, 1-2pm.

Abstract: Research on difficult and contested pasts has been booming but we only have a limited understanding how these pasts are communicated outside of dedicated museums and dark tourism offers. In the presentation Alena and Guzel examine strategies that commercial tour guides use to talk about contested pasts, focusing on city tours offered to Russian tourists in Tallinn, Almaty and Kyiv, cities used to be part of Russia and the Soviet Union and have become part of independent nation-states after the break-up of the Soviet. We argue that while commercial tour strategies do not silence difficult pasts, they are shaped by conflict avoidance and a pragmatic approach to memory that differs significantly from cosmopolitan memory projects that have been the centre of scholarly attention.