Decommunization Discourse in the Kyiv


  • Lyudmyla Males Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv



decommunization, discourse, urbanonymy (street name), decolonization, capital


The author investigates decommunization discourse. The article is focused especially on the process of decommunization in the Kyiv, and is looked in detail the changing of street names, comparing Kyiv to other cities. As we know in 20 and 21 centuries governments employ the symbolic powers of public space as a resource for demonstrating their authority. For example the renaming of Kyiv’s very busy Moskovsky Prospekt (Moscow Avenue) to a name that would honor Stepan Bandera, a controversial Ukrainian nationalist leader from the mid-20th century. There are three positions in such discourse: «historical nostalgia»; «nationalistic» and «decolonialization». I hope that a post-Soviet country such as Ukraine will use the symbolic spaces and the power of toponymy to break from the authority of communistic past and signal a new order. It can do so in a heavy-handed way such as is done by totalitarian regimes, or as we hope Ukraine will do, via democracy, inclusiveness, and citizen participation.


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