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Soviet Punk and the Formation of Modern Ukrainian Identity
January 19, 7:00 pm-8:30 pmFree
In the late 1980s, the Soviet Ukrainian punk subculture seeded an accidental politics that allowed for new and idiosyncratic ways to identify as Ukrainian. In this talk, the anthropologist and musician Maria Sonevytsky will share her research on a curious cassette album that circulated in the last years of the USSR on the streets of Kyiv: Tantsi (Dances), by the punk quartet Vopli Vidopliassova (known by fans as VV). Using Tantsi as the center of her analysis, Sonevytsky will discuss the band’s irreverent hit songs, their uses of irony to battle the Soviet state’s hypocrisy (and to circumvent the censors), the punk scene’s awakening to new forms of belonging to the project of Ukraine, and the stakes of all of this in the context of the ongoing Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. Option to attend in person or virtually.