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Between Russia and Estonia: narratives of place in a new borderland

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journal contribution
posted on 23.10.2015, 13:23 authored by Alena PfoserAlena Pfoser
The Russian-Estonian border has undergone radical changes in the past two decades - from an integrated borderland between two Soviet republics to a border between nation-states and the new EU external border. Until the present day, it is a discursive battlefield that reflects the difficult relations between Russia and Estonia after the restoration of Estonia's independence. While much research has concentrated on antagonistic projects of identity politics and state-building from a top-down perspective, this paper asks how people living in the borderland make sense of the place they live in and negotiate shifts in the symbolic landscapes. Based on life-story narratives of Russian-speakers, it analyzes different ways of narrating and framing place and argues for a consideration of the plurality and ambivalences of place-making projects on the ground. Furthermore, it argues for a more balanced account of continuity and discontinuity in memory narratives by taking into account how the socialist past continues to be meaningful in the present. As the interviews show, memories of the socialist past are used for constructing belonging in the present both by countering and by reproducing national narratives of boundedness.

History

Published in

Nationalities Papers

Volume

42

Issue

2

Pages

269 - 285

Citation

PFOSER, A., 2013. Between Russia and Estonia: narratives of place in a new borderland. Nationalities Papers, 42(2), pp. 269-285.

Publisher

© Taylor & Francis

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Publication date

2014-03-01

Notes

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Nationalities Papers on 19th April 2013, available online: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00905992.2013.774341

ISSN

0090-5992

eISSN

1465-3923

Language

en