Regional Television and

Regional Television and "Reclaiming Local Culture," 1957-1985

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Bohdan Shumylovych

Center for Urban History

April 20, 2017 / 4.00 pm

Center for Urban History, Lviv

In the late 1950s, local television was under active development in Ukraine. The government was launching new television studios, sectional ministries laid new lines of relay cables and installed rebroadcasting transmitters. In 1960, in the USSR, there were 2.5 mln television receivers, while in 1965, it was the number for TV sets in Soviet Ukraine only. Soviet people were becoming more educated, and socialist empire and its peripheries were getting to be more mediatized: the USSR was transforming into a media empire. In terms of this advance in Soviet media infrastructure, what was the relation between the central part of the Union, national television stations and the regions? Did the regional TV studios have any autonomy, or were they fully dependent on the national capital and the federal center? These will be key issues for discussion in the presentation of the researcher. We shall have an overview of how these relations were developing, from the consolidation of media in the late 1950s and 1960s to the concentration in the 1970s and the 1980s. The leading plot of the story is an attempt to withdraw from the national narrative of confrontation of the imperial center and national periphery where the colonized act as passive receivers of assignments from the center. We shall try to add an agency to regional actors within the structure of Soviet media. The researcher uses an argument that the dialectics of mutual relations of the region, the national center, and Moscow enhanced both innovations and regression at the same time. They were shaping not only mass Sovietization of Ukrainian culture but its nationalization, too.

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Bohdan Shumylovych

is a coordinator of the “Urban Media Archive” at the Center for Urban History, a scholar. He had his Master’s degree in modern and contemporary history at the Central European University (Budapest, Hungary, 2004-2005), a diploma of a historian of arts at the Lviv Academy of Arts (Ukraine, 1993-1999), and also took a training course at the faculty of project management at George Washington University (USA, 2001-2002). In 2014, he received a grant of the European University Institute in Florence to conduct a study on “Mediascape of Lviv: late 1950s – 1980s”. The project objective is to study peculiarities of interaction of urban space, social practices and media in the period of late socialism.

The seminar was jointly organized by the Department of Social Anthropology of the Institute of Ethnography of the National Academy of Sciences and the Center for Urban History.