P61
Chaos beyond transition: making sense of space and time in post-socialist cities

Convenors:
Maria Salaru (Durham University)
MichaƂ Murawski (University College London )
Format:
Panels
Location:
Palatine - PCL053
Start time:
7 July, 2016 at 9:00
Session slots:
2

Short abstract:

This panel follows the thin line between change and continuity in the material environment in post-socialist cities. We invite papers which shed light on the spaces and times of urban change, illuminating the strengths as well as limitations contained in concepts of 'chaos' and 'transition'.

Long abstract:

The fall of socialist regimes in Central and Eastern Europe brought about a rapid and momentous change of political regime. The unfolding landscapes of post-socialist cities do not merely mirror 'transition' - they are themselves eloquent and multi-layered materialisations and enactments of change, as well as of continuity. This panel proposes to critically examine temporalities and horizons of change in post-socialist cities. What happened to the time-space of socialism after the fall, when the 'chronometer of history' (Yampolsky 1995) was switched on? Did the eternal urban cosmos of socialism simply disintegrate into the wild capitalist chaos of 'everything fixed going up in smoke' (Marx and Engels 1967)? This panel takes chaos as the starting point for its investigation of the temporalities and horizons of change in post-socialist cities. Do post-socialist cities retain any vestiges of socialism's attempts to master the volatility of space and time? What might be learned from these reductions? Landscape, as a social process, reflects and constitutes "depictions of rapid change in the apparent stability of place" (Berdahl 2000). Landscapes are morphed according to contradictory uses of collective memories, while suggesting new futures. This panel follows the thin line between change and continuity in the material environment. We aim at critically understanding not only the qualities of the built environment, but also the new inequalities and stratifications, which accompany material reconfigurations. We invite papers which shed light on the spaces and times of urban change, illuminating the strengths and limitations contained in concepts of 'transition'.