“Descendants of the Executioners” in the Space of Memory about the Era of Political Repressions (on the example of the Project “The Investigation of Karagodin”)
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Descendants of the Victims
Descendants of the Executioners
Moral Community
Memory Studies
Discourse of Memory

How to Cite

Zevako, Y. (2022). “Descendants of the Executioners” in the Space of Memory about the Era of Political Repressions (on the example of the Project “The Investigation of Karagodin”). Galactica Media: Journal of Media Studies, 4(2), 41-64. https://doi.org/10.46539/gmd.v4i2.265


This article is devoted to the problem of the place of “descendants of the executioners” in the space of memory of the era of political repression. The article discusses questions about the attitude of the “moral community” that has developed around the victims of repression and their descendants towards the “descendants of the executioners” – on the example of the analysis of the case with D. Karagodin’s project “The Investigation of KARAGODIN”. The study shows that the specified moral community, using the mechanism of dehumanization in relation to the “executioners” (as a mechanism for constructing the image of the enemy), tends to transfer these characteristics to their descendants – despite the fact that, for the most part, the “descendants of the executioners” are “honest descendants”, since they practically do not know / did not know anything about the professional activity and specific actions of their ancestors. Differences were also revealed, causing tension between the acceptable and unacceptable reactions prescribed by the moral community to kinship with the “executioners” and the variety of real experiences of the “descendants of the executioners”. The article analyzes the semantic aspects of the concept of “descendants of executioners”. The author of the article shows that these semantic aspects are often built on different grounds and can intersect, giving rise to internal conflicts including those of ethical nature. The article concludes that the “descendants of the executioners” (“honest descendants”) today are actually not represented in the space of memory of the era of political repression. In the context of increasing government influence to the memory of the era of political repression, and, as a result, of increased tension between the state and the moral community, representatives of this community are not always ready to perceive the voices of the “descendants of the executioners”, who are often associated with modern representatives of the state, alongside with the voices of “descendants of the victims”. All these circumstances significantly complicate the formation of “symmetrical memory” as a condition for successful processing of the difficult past.

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*An organization recognized in Russia as a foreign agent and liquidated by decision of the Supreme Courts of the Russian Federation

** A social network recognized in Russia as belonging to an extremist organization.

*** Mass media recognized in Russia as a foreign agent.

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