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Flowers Through Concrete: Explorations in the Soviet Hippieland

The CEU Campus
Wednesday, November 29, 2017, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm

My project looks at the history, role and character of the Soviet hippie movement. It argues that, while the case of the Soviet hippies is one of alienation and wilful separation from the Soviet mainstream, it also tells a story about how late socialism ‘worked’ and ‘was worked’. Hippies found themselves pushed to the margins of Soviet society, but they navigated these margins very skillfully, relying on the realities of late socialism for their identity as well as their successful economic survival. Rather than representing an amusing anecdote, I argue that Soviet hippies provide a significant angle to understanding late Soviet society overall. During my time at IAS I aim to put the finishing touches on a monograph on the Soviet hippies, which looks at a number of important aspects that entangled them with the Soviet system such as belief, topography, materiality, gender and psychiatry