“In Search of History’s Other Subjects: Oral History of Decollectivization in Ukraine in the 1990s”
During her fellowship at HURI, Khanenko-Friesen will analyze data she previously collected on decollectivization in Ukraine. In 2007–9, she carried out an oral history project, “Decollectivization in Ukraine in the 1990s: Rural Perspectives and Experiences.” The project recorded some 140 autobiographical interviews with former collective farmers in ten of Ukraine’s regions, and gathered extensive photographic evidence. Both kinds of data contain rich ethnographic evidence of how decollectivization was experienced and processed by those who have been directly, and profoundly, affected by it.
Now, Khanenko-Friesen will develop her study of these personal narratives on villagers’ life prior and during decollectivization. She intends to produce a manuscript during her 2018-19 sabbatical year. Of interest to her, thus far, has been to identify and examine a particular reflective mode, a kind of shared subjectivity that both underscores and governs the ongoing memorialization of the post-socialist transition and the formation of a new collective memory of late socialism. With this project, she also wants to give the disadvantaged villagers an opportunity to be heard and to present their own views on the profound socio-economic changes they had lived through in the 1990s.