(An)Archive: Childhood, Memory, and the Cold War - cover image


Mnemo ZIN; Zsuzsanna Millei; Nelli Piattoeva; Iveta Silova. Copyright of individual chapters are maintained by the chapter author(s).

Published On





  • English

Print Length

428 pages (viii+420)


Paperback156 x 30 x 234 mm(6.14" x 1.18" x 9.21")
Hardback156 x 34 x 234 mm(6.14" x 1.34" x 9.21")


Paperback809g (28.54oz)
Hardback987g (34.82oz)




OCLC Number





  • JB
  • NHTB
  • JMC
  • DNC
  • NHTW


  • BM
  • JH
  • JFF
  • HBTW
  • GTR
  • JMC


  • SOC000000
  • HIS054000
  • PSY004000
  • BIO026000
  • POL011000
  • SOC002000
  • HIS037100


  • D843


  • Cold War
  • Childhood
  • Memory
  • State socialism
  • (An)Archive
  • collective biography
  • Oral history


Childhood, Memory, and the Cold War

What was it like growing up during the Cold War? What can childhood memories tell us about state socialism and its aftermath? How can these intimate memories complicate history and redefine possible futures? These questions are at the heart of the (An)Archive: Childhood, Memory, and the Cold War. This edited collection stems from a collaboration between academics and artists who came together to collectively remember their own experiences of growing up on both sides of the ‘Iron Curtain’. Looking beyond official historical archives, the book gathers memories that have been erased or forgotten, delegitimized or essentialized, or, at best, reinterpreted nostalgically within the dominant frameworks of the East-West divide. And it reassembles and (re)stores these childhood memories in a form of an ‘anarchive’: a site for merging, mixing, connecting, but also juxtaposing personal experiences, public memory, political rhetoric, places, times, and artifacts. These acts and arts of collective remembering tell about possible futures―and the past’s futures―what life during the Cold War might have been but also what it has become.

(An)Archive will be of particular interest to scholars in a variety of fields, but particularly to artists, educators, historians, social scientists, and others working with memory methodologies that range from collective biography to oral history, (auto)biography, autoethnography, and archives.


  • José Cossa

3. Passing Bye

(pp. 79–90)
  • Hanna Trampert
  • Stefanie Weiss Santos

Smearing the Portrait

(pp. 116–118)
  • Lucian Țion

Smuggling Jewelry

(pp. 135–137)
  • Tatyana Kleyn

Sleepy Smuggles

(pp. 138–138)
  • Sarah Fichtner

The Door

(pp. 156–166)
  • Khanum Gevorgyan
  • Nadine Bernhard
  • Irena Kašparová
  • Beatrice Scutaru
  • Josefine Raasch
  • Katarzyna Gawlicz
  • Zsuzsa Millei

Open Coffin

(pp. 212–212)
  • Irena Kašparová
  • Zsuzsa Millei
  • Katarzyna Gawlicz

Soviet Feminism?

(pp. 235–236)
  • Nadia Tsulukidze
  • Susanne Gannon
  • Stefanie Weiss Santos

Losing Balance

(pp. 255–256)
  • Tatyana Kleyn

Adult Hospital Ward

(pp. 257–258)
  • Irena Kašparová


(pp. 281–282)
  • Nelli Piattoeva

Blackberry Picking

(pp. 283–284)
  • Rahim Rahimov


(pp. 303–304)
  • Iveta Silova

New Year’s Frog

(pp. 305–306)
  • Nelli Piattoeva

The Tailor

(pp. 326–328)
  • Thoma Sukhashvili

Pink Flamingo

(pp. 349–350)
  • Iveta Silova

Traveling Stones

(pp. 370–370)
  • Oshie Nishimura-Sahi
  • Esther Pretti
  • Jieyu Jiang
  • Keti Tsotniashvili
  • Dilraba Anayatova
  • Ann Nielsen
  • Iveta Silova


Zsuzsa Millei

Professor at Tampere University
Visiting Professor at University of Gothenburg

Zsuzsa Millei was born in Hungary. After migrating to Australia in 2000, she enrolled in a PhD program. Her thesis focused on the history and politics of early childhood education and care in Western Australia. She had to be persuaded that there might be value in a study between the Australian system and the socialist Hungarian one, which she undertook later. She is still somewhat puzzled―although much less after the ‘Recollect/ Reconnect’ project―when researchers express enthusiasm for research on socialist childhoods. Perhaps it is due to her upbringing in a socialist country characterized by its explicit official politics (standing in line). At the same time, perhaps growing up in this context is what ignited her interest in researching children, childhood, and politics. She is also Mnemo ZIN with Nelli Piattoeva and Iveta Silova, good friends and comrades in research, art, and having fun.

Nelli Piattoeva

Associate Professor at the Faculty of Education and Culture at Tampere University

Nelli Piattoeva was born and raised in the Westernmost part of the USSR and continued her education across the border in Finland where she currently lives and researches different aspects of post-Soviet educational transformations including digitalization, national assessments, and nationalism. Studying childhood memories and lived experiences of (post)socialism, she seeks to understand how state policies are enacted―absorbed, resisted or ignored―by adults and children on the ground. She also feels a strong need for more research on childhood, including children’s relational agency, in educational sociology and policy studies that tend to predominantly focus on policies and adults’ experiences thereof. She has found great inspiration and comfort in engaging with artistic methods and collective biography through collaboration with and friendship of Zsuzsa Millei and Iveta Silova as the Mnemo ZIN collective.

Iveta Silova

Professor and Associate Dean of Global Engagement at Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University

Iveta Silova grew up in Latvia during the late Soviet period. She spent a lot of time outside, playing in her family’s summer garden, wandering along the river on the edge of her hometown, and exploring nearby meadows and forests. During this time, she learned to speak with trees and make friends with yellow fairies. Iveta now works as a Professor and Associate Dean of Global Engagement at Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University. Her research examines the intersections of postsocialist, postcolonial, and decolonial perspectives in envisioning education beyond the Western horizon. She is particularly interested in childhood memories, ecofeminism, and environmental sustainability. She enjoys being a part of the Mnemo ZIN collective with Zsuzsa and Nelli.

Mnemo ZIN


Mnemo ZIN is a composite name for Zsuzsa Millei, Iveta Silova, and Nelli Piattoeva who grew up on the Eastern side of the Iron Curtain―Zsuzsa in Hungary, Iveta in Latvia, and Nelli in Karelia. Our paths first crossed ten years ago through an informal exchange of childhood memories and quickly evolved into close collaboration using collective biography research. Our collective name acknowledges the interdependent nature of our work against the individualist, hierarchical, and competitive culture of modern academia. It is inspired by the stories from Greek mythology, especially Mnemosyne―the goddess of memory, daughter of Gaia, and the mother of the nine Muses.