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One century after the Bolshevik Revolution

Cent ans après la révolution d’Octobre

К столетию Oктябрьской Pеволюции : история советского наследия во Франции

Towards a “French History” of Soviet Heritage ? 1917-2017

Peut-on écrire une histoire française du patrimoine soviétique ?

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Published on Tuesday, December 13, 2016


Ce colloque se propose, à l’occasion du centenaire de la révolution d’Octobre 1917, de penser cet événement au regard des productions monumentales dont il a été à l’origine, et de mener une réflexion sur les enjeux multiples que soulèvent les traces encore présentes de l’Union soviétique dans tout son espace d’expansion et jusqu’en Île-de-France.



In 2004, an archaeological survey was organized in Baillet-en-France (France, Val-d’Oise) under the supervision of the French National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research (INRAP). As a result, archaeological remains of Soviet artefacts were discovered, piled into an icehouse. Soon, François Gentili (INRAP) identified the origin of this unexpected discovery. The broken elements of these monumental sculptures were originally parts of the propylaea of the Soviet Pavilion at the Exposition des Arts et des Techniques dans la Vie Moderne (Paris, 1937), the pedestal building which once supported the gigantic sculptures of the Worker and Kolkhoz Woman (V.Mukhina).

Unexpected as it was, this Soviet thaw in the Val d’Oise heralded under « ectopic circumstances » a new approach towards « Soviet heritage ». These remains of « Soviet civilization » were excavated and approached methodically as material remains of XXth century ideologies and conflicts. As it was, the discovery shed also some interesting light on the French Labor (communist) movement (CGT and CGT-métallurgie).

A « French History » of Soviet Heritage should at first identify several architectural objects and artefacts such as the building of the Soviet Embassy, the old movie theater Cosmos (Rue de Rennes), the Cité Gagarine (Ivry sur Seine), the Soviet Cemetery at Noyers-Saint Martins, the Lenin Museums in Paris or in Longjumeau or the iconic building of the headquarters (Arch : Oscar Niemeyer) of the French Communist party place du Colonel Fabien. The kolletsija of nonofficial Soviet contemporary art donated by the Vladimir Potanin Foundation to the Centre Pompidou but also private collections of Soviet artistic productions and artefacts are some other testimonies of the very existence of a French « Soviet heritage ».

Beyond the celebration of the Russian Revolution Centenary, this international conference to be held in Paris, will bring together researchers and archaeologists, curators and witnesses, photographers and artists involved in some way in the process of turning these Soviet remains into a very singular « Heritage ».

This call for contributions invites proposals from all disciplines on topics relevant to the conference. Proposals related to the following topics are most welcome.

1-Soviet monuments in French history

  • Soviet monuments and architectures : Communist Party, Labor Movement, Trade Unions (building yards, exhibition pavilions , artistic influences)
  • Soviet Pavilions in Paris international exhibitions : from 1925 to 1937. Topography and archaeological Remains.
  • Soviet monuments in France : social history of Baillet-en-France (Leisure Park of the CGT métallos in 1937, became a Soviet refugee camp in 1944).

2-Monuments and contemporary archaeology

  • XXth century archaeology : conflicts, monuments, ideologies.
  • Artistics productions, materials, innovation.
  • Archaeology of ephemeral monuments : Heritage-making process, dismantling, recycling, dispersion
  • From excavation to reconstruction of Soviet monuments : methods and political issues.

3-« Soviet heritage » : topography and epistemology

  • Soviet notion of Heritage
  • Soviet monuments and memory issues in a global perspective
  • Soviet Heritage in Ile-de-France Region : topography, epistemology, inventory.

Submission guidelines

Proposals in English, Russian or French (approximate 300 words) with a short CV should be sent to : patrimoinesovietique2017@gmail.com

by March 15th 2017.

Scientific committee

  • François Gentili (INRAP),
  • Taline Ter Minassian (INALCO),
  • Julie Deschepper (INALCO),
  • Emeric Tellier (Centre d’histoire sociale du XXe siècle),
  • Danielle Tartakowsky (Paris 8),
  • Jean-Paul Démoule (Paris 1),
  • Nathan Schlanger (Ecole des Chartes),
  • Annie Gérin (UQAM),
  • Maria Silina (UQAM).

With the support of the following organizations :

  • Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales
  • Institut CGT d'Histoire Sociale de la Métallurgie
  • Maison des Métallos
  • Musée archéologique du Val d'Oise (Conseil départemental du Val-d'Oise)

With the support of the French National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research (INRAP) And the City council of Baillet-en-France


  • La Maison des métallos 94, Rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud | Institut national des langues et civilisations orientales, 65 rue des Grands Moulins
    Paris, France (75011 | 75013)
  • Musée Archéologique du Val-d'Oise - Place du Château
    Guiry-en-Vexin, France (95450)


  • Wednesday, March 15, 2017


  • Union soviétique, URSS, exposition internationale, révolution russe 1917, patrimoine, archéologie


  • Julie Deschepper
    courriel : patrimoinesovietique2017 [at] gmail [dot] com

Information source

  • Emeric Tellier
    courriel : emeric [dot] tellier [at] ftm-cgt [dot] fr


CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« One century after the Bolshevik Revolution », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Tuesday, December 13, 2016, https://calenda.org/387349

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