A Museum of Ambiguity

Below is a quote from a cute-ish little article in the Moscow Times about a woman who has built a museum honoring the “good ole days” of the Soviet Union.  Some may shudder to think of this kind of nostalgia for the grind of the dictatorial regime of the USSR and the death camps of Stalin, but, like with most things involved with remembering Russia’s recent past, the politics of memory are always much more complex.  One could say that the general failure on behalf of the West to understand why Russian people don’t feel inclined to feel shame about USSR, or rather are able to feel at once nostalgic and rejecting toward the previous regime, is a major factor in the widening gulf of understanding between our cultures.

“Of course, we remember those dark sides of the Soviet period. My family went through repressions as well. But our aim [with the museum] was to recall everything that we were proud of, all those good and bright things we had when we lived in the Soviet Union,” she said.
“Many visitors say that in our museum they feel nostalgia for the old times. And indeed, we were all more kindhearted and responsive in the Soviet Union, we knew how to help each other and face all problems together. Now it’s all gone, unfortunately,” she said.