Mikhail Rozhanskii's article focuses on the notion of geographical mobility in the late Soviet period. Although Soviet notions of mobility were directly opposed to nomadism in that they required a clear and determined path, in the late Soviet period, "joining the historical process" entered into a dialogue with the poetics and practices of nomadism. Rozhanskii builds his study on a wide range of sources gathered during fieldwork in "young" cities of Siberia, where young people were seen as creating their own "difficult happiness" through participating in the construction projects of late socialism. Some joined these construction projects as they emerged from the Stalinist concentration camps and were looking for a "clean slate." Others were driven by a sense of historical mobilization. Today's memory of these projects often focuses on the shared experiences of euphoria and collectivism. Due to the geographical and social liminality of these Siberian construction sites, people experienced estrangement of the ideological system of late socialism. Rozhanskii argues that in parallel to the socialist construction sites, people created social worlds on the micro level. Finally, Rozhanskii analyzes songs of the late Soviet period and illustrates how nomadism and the search for difficult happiness emerged as a social and collective movement that allowed people to realize themselves within the confines of the Soviet modernization project.


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pp. 112-144
Launched on MUSE
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