Displaced Borders: The Written Traumatic Borderline between Pskov Province and Chechnya


  • Mari Ristolainen UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Norway




Russia, Chechnya, Pskov Province, Chechen wars, cultural trauma, b/ordering, border displacement, non-professional writing


This article examines the narrative construction of borders through an analysis of “non-professional writing” produced by the residents of Pskov. It discusses the construction of national borders and the symbolic meanings invested in them, with the empirical focus being placed on the symbolic Russian-Chechen border. The theoretical essence is the realization that due to the constructive and narrative natures of border production, the creation of a national borderline does not necessarily pre-suppose that the two sides share a geographical border. The article also addresses questions of traumatic memory and links border production with the concept of cultural trauma. By asking where Russia’s borders currently located, this article provides an example of the cultural construction and symbolic displacement of the “national border”, and a representation of how the national b/ordering processes differ when viewed from both “bottom up” and “top-down” perspectives in the contemporary Russian Federation.


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Part 4: Displaced and symbolic borders