Building anti-colonial Utopia: The politics of space in Soviet Tashkent in the “long 1960s”

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


As decolonization became a possibility and in some cases a reality after World War II, new spaces of competition opened up between the former colonial powers, the newly independent decolonizing states, the United States, and the Soviet Union. This chapter focuses on one such critical space: Tashkent-the capital of Soviet Uzbekistan and the largest city of the “Soviet East.” During the Soviet Union’s “long 1960s”-a period that began with the Khrushchev-era de-Stalinization policies, open reassessment of the fundamental principles of Soviet society, and government-sponsored opening to other parts of the world and continued throughout the Brezhnev era-the city’s residents witnessed a number of transformations of the spaces they inhabited. New large-scale public housing projects went up to accommodate rapid urbanization; historical monuments were erected to commemorate the Bolshevik revolution; and international events such as the 1968 Tashkent International Afro-Asian Film Festival contributed to the “opening” of the Uzbek capital to other parts of the world. These transformations were associated with the new Union-wide search for legitimacy for Soviet power, and the reorientation of that search to “the East.” In Tashkent, they brought renewed emphasis on the “friendship of peoples” narrative and on links between symbols of Soviet state power and those of protest against the First World that emerged among Third World nationalists, post-colonial state builders, and leaders of the Afro-Asian movement in the 1960s.1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of the Global Sixties
Subtitle of host publicationBetween Protest and Nation-Building
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781351366113
ISBN (Print)9781138557321
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


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