Contacting History in the “VKontakte”: Participatory Historical Culture in the Social Networking Group “Retro Obninsk”
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Contacting History in the “VKontakte”: Participatory Historical Culture in the Social Networking Group “Retro Obninsk”
Annotation
PII
S207987840001933-5-1
DOI
10.18254/S0001933-5-1
Publication type
Article
Status
Published
Authors
Aleksandra Kasatkina 
Affiliation: Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera), Russian Academy of Sciences
Address: Russian Federation, Saint Petersburg
Abstract
Basing on the example of the group “Retro Obninsk” in the social networking site “VKontakte”, where residents of Obninsk share old photographs of the town from their home archives, I describe how “participatory historical culture” works in the condition of new media. The notion of Thelen that refers to an ethical mode of vernacular work with the past is widened and corrected considering “participatory culture” of web-platforms and its specificity for a historical web-resource. I show how via electronic infrastructure of the platform, nostalgic enchantment of the group participants with old views of their city is converted into an archive of historical knowledge, which is polyphonic, egalitarian, open to change, unstable. The group functions as a scene of Obninsk memory that unlike printed media, literature, museum exhibitions or commemorative meetings, is open for younger generations of residents who are too young to be authoritative voices of memory. “Participatory culture” implemented via commercial platform, without any explicit political agenda and off-line activity, is vulnerable for critical deconstruction. The concluding section of the paper is an attempt to show potential of such leisure groups in social networking sites for public history and formation of vernacular historical culture.
Keywords
participatory historical culture, Obninsk, VKontakte, social networking sites, public history, new media, memory studies
Received
04.06.2017
Publication date
13.08.2017
Number of characters
42387
Number of purchasers
30
Views
7175
Readers community rating
0.0 (0 votes)
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