Post-Soviet Visions: Architecture

Explore architecture in the post-Soviet world at a panel discussion to accompany our exhibition Post-Soviet Visions: image and identity in the new Eastern Europe.

How do we understand communist architecture from a past that no longer exists? And what place does this architecture – from skeletons of once-grand socialist structures to communist-era social housing – have in a world now in the clutches of capitalism?

Join our panel discussion as we explore the legacy of this architecture in the post-Soviet world. With a panel of writers, anthropologists and campaigners, we will consider what the physical traces of the communist past mean in today’s globally connected world.

About the speakers

Owen Hatherley writes regularly on aesthetics and politics for, among others, the Architectural Review, The Calvert Journal, Dezeen, the Guardian, Jacobin, the London Review of Books and New Humanist. He is the author of several books, most recently Landscapes of Communism (Penguin, 2015), The Ministry of Nostalgia (Verso, 2016) and The Chaplin Machine (Pluto, 2016), the last of which is based on a PhD thesis accepted by Birkbeck College in 2011. A book on European cities, Trans-Europe Express, will be published by Penguin in spring 2018.

Clem Cecil is a Russian-speaking specialist in language, literature and architectural preservation, with many years’ experience working in, and with, Russia, initially as correspondent for The Times, then as co-founder of the Moscow Architecture Preservation Society. She has co-edited four books on Moscow, St Petersburg and Samara. From 2012 to 2016 she was the director of SAVE Britain’s Heritage and SAVE Europe’s Heritage. She is the director of Pushkin House in London.

Patrick Neveling is Senior Researcher at the Department of Anthropology, University of Bergen and Associate at the Historical Institute, University of Bern. He has published widely on the historical political economy of capitalism and is currently finishing a book on Relocating capitalism. Export processing zones and special economic zones since 1947.

Rory Hyde is a designer, curator and writer based in London. His work is focused on new forms of design practice, and redefining the role of the designer today. He is Curator of Contemporary Architecture and Urbanism at the Victoria and Albert Museum, Adjunct Senior Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne, and Design Advocate for the Mayor of London.

Chaired by Ekow Eshun, co-curator of Post-Soviet Visions: image and identity in the new Eastern Europe.

Part of a programme of events to accompany our exhibition Post-Soviet Visions which includes a series of panel discussions exploring New East art and culture and a one-day fashion symposium in collaboration with the ICA and TrAIN: The Research Centre for Transnational Art, Identity and Nation, University of the Arts London.