The workshop with following discussion is promoted under research project NAKI - "Do-It-Yourself culture and its importance for Czech national and cultural identity: Current situtation in social, cultural, historical and political perspective, typology and potential for regional development".
How to think, study, and interpret DIY-like discourses and practices in the Russian/post-Soviet context
Dr. Zinaida Vasilyeva
Munich Center for Technology in Society (Technische Universität München)
Many foreign observers, just like many Russians themselves, agree that Russians do share a particular material culture characterized by the widespread practices of making, remaking and repairing objects. Starting from this common-sense opinion, I continue disentangling the “Russian/Soviet DIY” as a stereotype and demonstrate how many diverse social forms and contradictory discourses inform this phenomenon from inside and outside the Russian society. My analysis is guided by two general research questions:
1) how the Soviet modern project made DIY material culture its inherent characteristic and what kind of subject emerged as a result of this project?
2) how the context of rapid and radical transformations influenced the way individuals remember and speak about DIY objects and practices in the post-Soviet context.