Talks & Workshops


The speech is dedicated to the presentation of the practices of everyday life in Yerevan in the 1960s-1980s and the features of their modernization. One of the exciting phenomena characteristic of late-Soviet Yerevan was that the modernization process here had formal-official and shadow dimensions, which were expressed through parallel manifestations of the Soviet and the West in fashion, entertainment, public relations, and personal life practices. The report will talk about both their intersections and collisions. Special attention will be paid to the ideologicalization of the everyday practices and tastes of the Soviet man and the phenomena of their de-Sovietization. In the 1970s and 1980s, the city experienced a significant increase in public spaces: parks, cafes, theatres, cinemas, and squares. This led to the predominance of open environments over closed environments in the urban area, which allowed the individual to organize part of his day outside the closed spaces of neighbourhood and kinship, where no one knew him personally, and the degree of freedom of individual stylistic expression increased. The transformations of the public environment influenced the diversification of urban fashion, entertainment, and style and the clashes with the uniformly propagated Soviet one-dimensionality. During this period, the practices of organizing people’s relationships in courtyard areas and public environments also changed noticeably. These transformations also affected the liberalization of personal life and the emergence of new practices related to it, which deepened the gap between real life and the official discourse on the individual’s moral character in “advanced socialism”. The lecture will conclude with a discussion of the manifestations of the Cold War and the failures of the official Soviet ideology in fashion and clothing, entertainment and other daily urban practices.