Drama Underground. Forgetting Socialist Nostalgia

Par Gediminas Lankauskas
This essay focuses on the “survival drama” in the Bunker, an experiential theme park located underground near the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius. Visitors to the Bunker participate in—and “survive”—several interactive performances of mock kgb interrogations, dental examinations, Soviet-era shopping, and so forth. These performances interest me as commemorative acts where socialism is represented using discourse, imagery, and sensory effects. I inquire into how participants respond to the Bunker’s dramatization of socialism as morally engaged persons who recall it as a biographical and national past. By critiquing dominant “nostalgia” perspectives, the essay points to the complexities and ambiguities of socialist remembrance in today’s Lithuania.
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