This study analyzes the Soviet politics of silence during Stalin's collectivization campaign in the context of peasant resistance, state violence, and the famine in 1928–1929, and illuminates the primary function of strategic silence—an information blockade which creates a space for violence and human suffering. Only in silence does the landscape of violence emerge and its spiral dynamics consume everyone, assailants and victims, proceeding swiftly to the eventual destruction of this landscape. In Ukraine, strategic silence and the relatively hermetic information blockade highlights the intentional nature of state violence: it produced a ghetto of exclusion that helped crush peasant resistance to collectivization and prevented Ukraine's potential secession from the Union. More profoundly, the politics of silence is analyzed as "cultural" violence and one of the most important building blocks in the foundation of genocide that routinely provokes and escalates direct violence, a phenomenon which culminates in massacres, repressions, and famines, as happened in the Ukrainian case.


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 38-67
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.