Year of Graduation
The Image of Africa in the Memoirs of Soviet Scientific and Technical experts (1950s-1970s)
The diploma thesis is focused on the representation of African countries and Africans in Soviet memoirs of scientific and technical experts who worked in Africa in the 1950s-1970s. Three topics are discussed in this work – description of the memoirs of Soviet scientific and technical specialists about Africa in the 1950s-1970s as historical sources and methods of work with them, how they “opened” Africa for Soviet readers in the 1950s, and how those sources had been changed between the 1960s and the 1970s. This study tries to understand whether this type of sources can be viewed as a part of official Soviet literature on this topic or it is a peculiar type, which created a new image of Africa in Soviet historiography. It pays special attention to the methods of working with these sources. It shows that it is important to ask several questions while working with this type of historical sources: who created the sources, why they were created and what the audience of those sources was. It can be seen that in the memoires of different Soviet specialists two controversial images of Africa can be found. On one hand, the memoirs were part of official literature and had to follow the certain rules of description, on the other hand, it contained personal experience and thoughts of people who had a chance to meet Africans and got their own impression and opinion about them. The aim of this work is to analyze how the authors described their African experience, what topics they included or excluded, how these sources differed from official Soviet published materials about Africa and why they are important for the study of Soviet-African relations.