Opening Lecture Viadrinicum 2019
Multiple Transitions: (Re-)Assembling Cities into and out of Socialism
Dr. Sofia Dyak (L’viv)
The lecture will provide a broader lens to thinking about the transformations of cities in the (post)Socialist world by exploring two optics. First, multiple trajectories of cities transitioning from the socialist project in 1989 or 1991 will be examined. Second, these observations will be complicated by considering how cities within the Socialist world experienced previous transitions – not only into Socialism, but also within Socialism itself. In other words, Socialist cities will be considered as highly dynamic sites that were constantly assembled and reassembled, invented and re-invented. Moreover, a perspective that includes these highly dynamic and radical urban experiences of transformations in postwar Eastern European cities can provide more insights into the ways we might see cities as sites of development and laboratories of the future. In order to highlight the major and multiple transitions into, under, and out of socialism in Eastern Europe the lecture will focus on two regional urban centers that were radically reassembled and reimagined: L’viv and Wroclaw.
Sofia Dyak is the director of the Center for Urban History of East Central Europe in L’viv (Ukraine). She defended her PhD thesis “(Re)imagined Cityscapes: L’viv and Wroclaw after 1944/45”. She was a research fellow at the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies in Amsterdam, the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna, at the Institute for the Study of Human Rights at Columbia University, and at the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute. Her research interests include post-war history of border cities, heritage and urban planning in socialist cities and their legacies.
Moderation: Dr. Felix Ackermann (German Historical Institute, Warsaw)