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Reinstating Social Borders between the Slavic Majority and the Tatar Population of Crimea: Media Representation of the Contested Memory of the Crimean Tatars’ Deportation


  • Anastasia Bezverkha


The study examines the patterns of media representation of the Crimean Tatars’ deportation of 1944, in particular discursive strategies of exclusions and inclusions based on territorial and ethnic markers of collective identity. The study puts forward the argument that the Russian political and cultural dominance prevails in the media discourse of Crimea, often suppressing the voice and agency of the ethnic minority groups, such as the Crimean Tatars. The public debate over the collective memory of deportation, its historical significance for the Tatars and its consequences is often framed in terms of the post-Soviet “official” version of historical meta-narrative, the issue of the political responsibility is omitted, while Soviet-molded images of the “treachery” of the Crimean Tatar people are being reproduced in the media. This study demonstrates how the Crimean Tatar ethnic media outlets develop their own counter-discourse of deportation by means of publicizing personal narratives of the deportation survivors, thus promoting their alternative version of the memory of deportation portrayed as mass repression against the Crimean Tatars by the Soviet totalitarian regime. Even though the recent events in Crimea show that borders may change de facto, without changing de jure, this study, conducted during the period of 2010–2012, could still shed light on the logic behind the social borders constructed within the Crimean multiethnic society.

Suggested Citation

  • Anastasia Bezverkha, 2017. "Reinstating Social Borders between the Slavic Majority and the Tatar Population of Crimea: Media Representation of the Contested Memory of the Crimean Tatars’ Deportation," Journal of Borderlands Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(2), pages 127-139, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:rjbsxx:v:32:y:2017:i:2:p:127-139
    DOI: 10.1080/08865655.2015.1066699

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