Lecture “Exhibiting Trauma: Memorialization of the Holodomor in Ukrainian Museums”

November 16, 2019

Dr. Valentyna Kharkhun

Professor and Head of Ukrainian Literature Department at Mykola Gogol State University in Nizhyn, Ukraine

This presentation analyzes how the Holodomor is presented in Ukrainian museums and exhibition projects. It examines exhibitions in national, state and local history museums, discussing the main memory actors, narratives, and perception of each museum’s memory policy regarding the Holodomor. Special attention is paid to the evolution of the state-controlled narrative which ranges from trauma, loss and tragedy to an emphasis on resisting, opposing and overcoming the communist regime. In summary, the presentation details the role of museums portraying the Holodomor in comparison with other practices of commemoration, emphasizing the exclusive mission of museumification in creating the State’s grand narrative about the Ukrainian famine of 1932-1933.