Published online by Cambridge University Press: 20 November 2018
This article examines the current heroization of Ukrainian nationalist leader, Stepan Bandera, as manifested in monuments and commemorative practices. It offers a topographic survey that reveals the extent and variety of modes of Bandera heroization. It examines the esthetic and historical controversies that surround Bandera memorialization. It enquires into the personal motivations and political strategies that underlie the effort to project the chosen image of Bandera upon the public space in highly visible terms. It suggests that the campaign in favor of memorializing Bandera can best be understood in performative terms. It is in depicting Bandera as a hero of Ukraine that Bandera becomes a hero of Ukraine.
The research for this paper was carried out as part of an international (DACH) project on “Nation, Region and Beyond. An Interdisciplinary and Transcultural Reconceptualization of Ukraine” directed by Professor Ulrich Schmidt, University of St. Gallen. Field research was carried out by Oksana Myshlovska and the preliminary findings on which this paper is based were presented at a project workshop at the Kyiv Mohyla Academy, Kyiv, September 2012. A first version of this article was presented at the ASN Conference, New York, April 2013. Appendix 1 provides a brief biography of Bandera and a short review of contemporary historiography.