Matter and Memory

urbanculturalstudies

There has been a lot written, tweeted, and argued recently about the place of statues and monuments in cities throughout the world. The arguments made by young scholars at elite British universities and citizens in American cities highlights the emotional, political, cultural, and imaginative power these objects hold. In Eastern Europe, particularly former state socialist countries, the debates over socialist era monuments have been part of life since 1991. In some cases, the argument about trying to erase history by removing socialist era monuments echoes the attempts of the state socialist regimes who erased history both materially and immaterially. This included new construction of monuments, roads, and plazas, and the renaming of existing places, rewriting educational material, and mass cultural programmes.

In Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria after the end of Todor Zhikov’s regime in 1991 the mausoleum built for Georgi Dimitrov, the founder of the People’s Republic of Bulgaria…

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