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Homo Sovieticus

(project in progress)


HOMO SOVIETICUS

“Homo Sovieticus” initially sought to document existing Lenin monuments in Ukraine to understand why they remained and what purpose they were now serving. In September 2013, the monuments were still dotting Post-Soviet landscape. In 2014, after the Euromaidan uprising, many of the documented Lenin statues were toppled by protesters as the fallout turned deadly in the Donbass region. By premonition, some of the documented locations coincided with the faultlines of the conflict in Eastern Ukraine.

With these developments, “Homo Sovieticus” acquired new perspectives shifting from nostalgia to symbolic analysis of a nation’s psyche. Using A. Bogdanov’s sci-fi novel “Red Star: The First Bolshevik Utopia” (1908), “Homo Sovieticus” traces back the forgotten ideals and visions of a revolutionary transformation of society. Narrated in Esperanto, the video conflates documentary history with contemporary reality of political strife, confusion, and optimism, as yet another revolution holds new promises for a conflict torn nation.

 
 A. Bogdanov playing chess with Lenin, 1908. (UHA Getty Images)

A. Bogdanov playing chess with Lenin, 1908. (UHA Getty Images)

 "Red Star" (1908) novel by A.Bogdanov published in Esperanto, 1929

"Red Star" (1908) novel by A.Bogdanov published in Esperanto, 1929

 Lenin lying in state, 1924 (Getty Images)

Lenin lying in state, 1924 (Getty Images)

 
 Research locating Lenin monuments in Donbass, Ukraine

Research locating Lenin monuments in Donbass, Ukraine

 Lenin monument in Kiev, 2013

Lenin monument in Kiev, 2013

 Protesters topple Lenin monument in Kiev, 2013. (REUTERS, Stoyan Nenov)

Protesters topple Lenin monument in Kiev, 2013. (REUTERS, Stoyan Nenov)