Monuments with and without Beards: Soviet Monumental Memory with Owen Hatherley

As part of our Power and Architecture season, we’re pleased to welcome renowned architecture critic Owen Hatherley who will be on hand to share his insights on the history and ideology surrounding the building and dismantling of monuments throughout the Soviet world.

From the destruction of the Vendome Column by the Paris Commune to the toppling in 1917 of the colossal statue of Tsar Alexander III, through to the staged Saddam topplings of 2003, the recent vandalism of Christopher Columbus in Venezuela or the mass Leninoclasm of post-revolution Ukraine, the treatment of grandiose monuments has had a symbolic role in political transformation. As a self-consciously revolutionary regime, Soviet Communism celebrated the destruction of some monuments, while erecting others at a furious rate.

This talk will discuss what they built to be remembered by and why, the differing approaches to memory and propaganda that emerged at various times under “real socialism”, and finally, what has survived, what hasn’t, and what ought to.

Owen Hatherley is the author of five books on architecture, politics and pop culture as well as the e-book Across the Plaza. His book Landscapes of Communism: A History Through Buildings will be available in paperback from Allen Lane in June 2016.

Booking terms & conditions

A deposit of £5 will be taken in lieu of a ticket, which will be fully refunded when you attend the event or send someone else in your place. Not attending the event and not sending anyone else in your place will mean you lose your deposit.

Please allow up to 7 business days for your refund to be processed and show up on your account. If it’s past that time, do get in touch with us so we can look into it.

We have a 12-hour cancellation policy, meaning you can cancel your ticket up to 12 hours before the event start time by emailing [email protected]org and the deposit will be refunded to your account. For any cancellations made outside this time frame the deposit becomes non-refundable.