Industrial and Human Ruins of Post Communist Europe

Pusca, Anca. 2010. Industrial and Human Ruins of Post Communist Europe. Space and Culture, 13(3), pp. 239-255. [Article]

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With the former industrial cities of Eastern Europe in ruin - once the pillars of these former communist economies - the attention of both investors and academics has shifted towards capital cities and their political and economic potential fueled by the rise of new governments and foreign direct investment. The failed attempts to privatize many of these former industrial spaces, has left entire cities in ruin and despair, forgotten by all but artists and preservationists, who see these spaces not only as aesthetically inspiring but also as charged with redemptive potential. This article puts forward an alternative exploration of the Eastern European post-communist transition through these ruined spaces, arguing that the aesthetic dimension of change is key to understanding the human impact of the transition. Focusing on two former industrial sites – the Hunedoara Ironworks in Romania and the Vitkovice Ironworks in the Czech Republic, the article seeks to understand the rhetorical and material relationship between these ruined spaces and the workers who once inhabited them as well as the effect that different practices of representation – mainly photography - and preservation have had on these spaces.

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Date Deposited:

19 Aug 2010 09:56

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 15:27

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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