Events Series

Utopia and Violence. The Work and Impact of the Writer Andrei Platonov

Since the opening up of a large number of archives during the late phase of Perestroika, our knowledge of the “order of terror” during the early phase of the Soviet Union has grown considerably. The enthusiasm for the communist vision of society mobilised broad sections of the population. However, violence and terror were key resources used by Stalin and the Bolsheviks to push through Sovietisation. This applies not only to the centre, but also the agricultural, pre-modern periphery. On the threshold of the 100th anniversary of the October Revolution, the infrastructure, economy, politics and social practices in Russia continue to be dominated by the ambivalent inheritance of this specific modern age. In his novel The Foundation Pit, Platonov puts into words not only the utopian impulse and revolutionary enthusiasm, but also the abyss of violence. This author gave voice to the ambivalences of Soviet modernisation earlier than others. In this, too, he is a chronicler of his time.

Conference and Publication are sponsored with Funds from Bundesstiftung zur Aufarbeitung der SED-Diktatur.

Conference Leaflet (PDF, 104 kB)