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27-31 August 2019
Poznań, Poland
Europe/Warsaw timezone
programme last update: 23 August 2019
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The Social Life and Afterlife of Socialist Monuments


Location: Poznań, Poland
Date: 30 Aug 11:00 - 15:30


Room 2.20

"This panel will examine the uses of monuments in socialist and postsocialist contexts across the globe, discussing people’s interactions with these public objects in various practices, such as rituals, political spectacles, joke telling, inscriptions of graffiti, physical interventions, visual reproductions, vandalism, and other forms of resignification. Questions that the papers might address include (but are not limited to): How visible are monuments built or used in socialist and postsocialist contexts? How have they been appropriated by various social actors? What values and meanings do different groups attach to them, and how have they changed over time? What roles do materiality and immateriality play in the various uses of socialist monuments? What kinds of solidarities and exclusions do such monuments help produce and signify? To what extent do vernacular practices and meanings associated with these monuments reproduce, subvert, or overlap with official state discourses? How do these monuments and their uses express and affect power relations? Why are they the object of so many disputes and resignifications? What is the political value of monuments? The goal of the panel is to establish a wide transnational dialogue that will lead to fruitful comparisons based on a variety of particular analyses. As such, we welcome papers about cases from different countries and continents, and particularly encourage submissions about non-European socialist and postsocialist contexts."


  • P 70.1
    • Dr. Goncalves, Joao Felipe (University of Sao Paulo)
    • Dr. Koleva, Daniela (Sofia University)
  • P 70.2
    • Dr. Goncalves, Joao Felipe (University of Sao Paulo)
    • Dr. Koleva, Daniela (Sofia University)

Timetable | Contribution List

Displaying 7 contributions out of 7
Monuments of socialism occupy an important place in the sociocultural and political life of Tatarstan - the subject of the Russia. The monuments of material culture include monuments to Soviet leaders, preserved in all urban and many rural settlements; architectural monuments and entire blocks of residential buildings (“Socialist City”); expositions of museums. Monuments to Lenin are used both ... More
Presented by Dr. Sergey RYCHKOV on 30/8/2019 at 12:00
After the end of the Soviet Union in 1991, a large number of monuments of that time were relocated from the public space. In contrast, almost all of the monuments that were built during The Republic of Estonia (founded in 1918) were restored. The paper will analyze the so-called monument war. The chain of events began with the relocation of the Lihula war monument (2002), the Bronze warrior (20 ... More
Presented by Dr. Mare KOIVA on 30/8/2019 at 14:05
In one of the Russian million cities –Kazan- at the end of the 1920s of the 20th century one of the first model estates in the USSR was built – called sotsgorod. The estate was conceived for highly qualified specialists and workers of nearby Kazan Aircraft Production Association. The Ordzhonikidze's monument was a significant element of the estate’s architectural composition. In 2016 appeare ... More
Presented by Aleksandra TUROWSKA on 30/8/2019 at 11:40
This paper examines the life and afterlife of the small massively reproduced busts of the Cuban national hero, José Martí, in socialist Havana: their proliferation, their political use, their effects, and the different ways in which Havanans have related to them - by exhibiting, honoring, ignoring, criticizing, and vandalizing them. It argues that these busts are deeply related to the disciplina ... More
Presented by Dr. JOAO FELIPE GONCALVES on 30/8/2019 at 11:00
Located at the center of Addis Ababa, the Ethio-Cuba Friendship Square was inaugurated in 2007, erasing, if not displacing, the former name of the place Tiglachin (our struggle), a memorial site of the Ethiopians’ struggle against Somali aggression and memorial site of Ethiopian socialism. The friendship square is an official memorial site reconstructed to fit the contemporary bilateral relation ... More
Presented by Dr. Yonas DEMISSIE on 30/8/2019 at 13:45
The paper is based on fieldwork in a village in Southwest Bulgaria in 2000 and 2016/17, and aims to make sense of the changing mythology of the local hero Dimiter Kalyashki, a communist functionary shot in battle in 1943. In the absence of other types of symbolic capital, the cult of Kalyashki was established already in the 1940s as the major axis of the local identity, with his monument inaugu ... More
Presented by Dr. Daniela KOLEVA on 30/8/2019 at 11:20
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