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Exploring hidden narratives: Conscript graffiti at the former military base of Kummersdorf

Merrill, S; Hack, H; (2013) Exploring hidden narratives: Conscript graffiti at the former military base of Kummersdorf. Journal of Social Archaeology , 13 (1) 101 - 121. 10.1177/1469605312455762. Green open access

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Abstract

This article explores the cultural significance and interpretative potential of graffiti left by Soviet conscripts at Kummersdorf, a former military base in the German federal state of Brandenburg. The graffiti is framed as war art and its typology, distribution and content is studied in detail. In this way opportunities for further research are highlighted, as well as the potential for the graffiti to contribute to interpretative and conservation strategies. We demonstrate how the graffiti embodies multi-level interpretative narratives which can help to reveal hidden aspects of Soviet conscript life and cultural practices whilst alluding to global events and Soviet and Russian military policy. More generally, the article aims to promote the potential of graffiti and other forms of what is traditionally considered vandalism to contribute to the cultural significance and interpretation of heritage sites.

Type: Article
Title: Exploring hidden narratives: Conscript graffiti at the former military base of Kummersdorf
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/1469605312455762
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1469605312455762
Language: English
Additional information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 License (http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/) which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page(http://www.uk.sagepub.com/aboutus/openaccess.htm).
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1469509
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