Folk Art, Nationalism, and Identity in a Kyiv, Ukraine Souvenir Market
MetadataShow full item record
Since the collapse of the USSR independent Ukraine has used politics and culture to define a separate national identity, in contrast to Russia. Through a performance studies lens I describe Kyiv's largest souvenir market, Andriyivsky Uzviz, and place it in the context of nationalism and cultural promotion. I draw on Conquergood who situates the performing of culture at the intersection of history and identity, and Kapchan who notes that markets are key sites where ethnic identity is defined within sociopolitical frameworks. While profit and customer demand are important to vendors in the Uzviz, Ukrainianness is consciously emphasized through their folk art items. Vendors wear national costume, sell "traditional" Ukrainian items, and explicitly identify as Ukrainian, not Russian. Through one Uzviz folk artist I illustrate vendors' use of folk arts to express Ukrainian cultural identity and show how the market is a microcosm of the larger nationalist movement in Ukraine.