From the Czech chata to communal apartments, this book examines the myriad ways in which space was used and conceived within socialist society.
What were Socialist Spaces? The Eastern Bloc produced distinctive spaces, some of which were fashioned from ideological templates, such as the monumental parade grounds and Red Squares where communist leaders could receive tributes, or new factory cities with towering chimneys and glittering palaces of culture. But what of the grimy toilet in the communal apartment or the forlorn ruins left after the Second World War?This book explores the representation, meanings and uses of space in the socialist countries of Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union between 1947 and 1991. The essays - written from different disciplinary perspectives - investigate the extent to which actual spaces conformed to the dominant political order in the region. Should, for instance, the creation of private spaces, such as the Russian dacha and the Czech chata, be understood as acts of appropriation in which lives were fashioned against the collective or, alternatively, as 'gifts' given by the State in return for quiescence? Whilst monuments and public spaces were designed to relay official ideology, one of the most notable features of the events that marked the end of the Bloc was the way that they became sites of dissent. Examining the myriad ways in which space was used and conceived within socialist society, this book makes an essential contribution to Eastern European and Soviet Studies and provides significant new angles on the factors that underpinned socialism's eventual downfall.
Contents Notes on Contributors 1. Socialist Spaces: Sites of Everyday Life in the Eastern Bloc, David Crowley and Susan E. Reid 2. Accommodation and Agitation in Sevastopol: Redefining Socialist Space in the Postwar 'City of Glory', Karl D. Qualls 3. Living in the Russian Present with a German Past: The Problems of Identity in the City of Kaliningrad, Olga Sezneva 4. The Role of Monumental Sculpture in the Construction of Socialist Space in Stalinist Hungary, Reuben Fowkes 5. Wandering the Streets of Socialism: A Discussion of the Street Photography of Arno Fischer and Ursula Arnold, Astrid Ihle 6. Soviet Exurbia: Dachas in Postwar Russia, Stephen Lovell 7. Weekend Getaways: the Chata, the Tramp and the Politics of Private Life in post-1968 Czechoslovakia, Paulina Bren 8. Khrushchev's Children's Paradise: The Pioneer Palace, Moscow, 1958@62, Susan E. Reid 9. Warsaw Interiors: The Public Life of Private Spaces, 1949@65, David Crowley 10. Public Privacy in the Soviet Communal Apartment, Katerina Gerasimova 11. Curtains: Decor for the End of Empire, Mark A. Svede Notes on Contributors Paulina Bren Paulina Bren, doctoral candidate at New York University, is currently working on a cultural history of post-Prague Spring Czechoslovakia. She has written extensively on the politics of popular and material culture and its intersections with late communism and ideology in East-Central Europe. David Crowley David Crowley teaches the history of design at the Royal College of Art, London. He is the author of various books including National Style and Nation-state. Design in Poland from the Vernacular Revival (MUP, 1992) and is co-editor, with Susan Reid, of Style and Socialism: Modernity and Material Culture in Postwar Eastern Europe (Berg, 2000). Moving Warsaw, a book on the reconstruction of the Polish capital, will be published by Reaktion Books in 2003. Reuben Fowkes Reuben Fowkes is a doctoral candidate at Essex University, and currently working on art and politics in postwar Eastern Europe. He has written widely on communist-era monumental sculpture in relation to war memorials, the cult of Stalin and the New Man and Woman of the socialist utopia. Katerina Gerasimova Katerina Gerasimova received her candidate degree in sociology from the European University at St Petersburg and is an associated researcher at the European University and researcher in the Centre for Independent Social Research in St Petersburg. She is the author of 'Soviet communal apartment' in J. Smith, ed., Beyond the Limits: The Concept of Space in Russian History and Culture (Helsinki: Studia Historica (62), 1999) and several articles on the history and sociology of housing in St Petersburg in Russian- language journals. Astrid Ihle Astrid Ihle is currently completing her Ph.D. on 'GDR Women Photographers. 1949@1961' at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, England. She worked as assistant to the director of the gallery EIGEN + ART in Berlin from 1995 to 1998. She was curator of Louise Bourgeois. Drawings and Sculptures at the Paula Bottcher Gallery, Berlin, 1999, and is curating an exhibition of photographs by Evelyn Richter at the Goethe-Institut in New York (autumn 2002). Stephen Lovell Stephen Lovell is a lecturer in European history at King's College London. He is the author of The Russian Reading Revolution: Print Culture in the Soviet and Post-Soviet Eras (2000), and of Summerfolk: A History of the Dacha, 1710-2000 (Cornell University Press, forthcoming). Karl D. Qualls Karl D. Qualls received his Ph.D. from Georgetown University and is assistant professor of history at Dickinson College. He is the author of 'Local-Outsider Negotiations in Sevastopol's Postwar Reconstruction, 1944@53', in P