Immediately after 1918 newly established states of post-imperial Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe embarked on an ambitious project of building new cities and national capitals. Seeking to cope with the destruction of war, driven by the desire to modernize the cities and to embody new national imageries in the landscapes of new capitals, the state authorities together with the professional architects and urban planners initiated a program of radical transformation of the multi-ethnic imperial cities in the interwar period. Tracing the history of competing visions for the capitals and other cities help us shed light on the multiple tensions between the quest for national identity, the aspiration to Europeanisation and modernization drive nurtured by the transnational admiration of modern technology. These numerous contradictions shaped such European cities as Prague or Bucharest, Bratislava or Sarajevo, Budapest or Kaunas.
The two-day international conference aims to revisit the recent scholarship and question how the history of these different cities could be written today beyond the nation-state narratives or beyond the celebration of avant-garde experimentation. Neither nationalisms, nor modernisms were unique driving forces of development of these diverse yet interconnected places. What are other less known forces that reshaped the interwar cities across Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe? What is the role of the imperial legacies in different cases? What is the role of new technologies, materials and infrastructures? How the immaterial practices inherited from the past and the intervention of new objects in the everyday life helped to forge new national versions of modernity?
András Ferkai, a leading Hungarian architectural historian will participate in the conference delivering his keynote speech Hungary: Between National Myths and International Standards. He will present his views in a dialogue with Andrzej Szczerski on 17 November 2018 from 13:30.
Date: 16-17 November 2018
Venue: BOZAR – Rotonde Bertouille
Tickets : 8 €/1 day – 12 €/2 days – via BOZAR
13.30 – 15.00 DIALOGUE 4:
COMPETING VISIONS OF MODERNITY: BUDAPEST, GDYNIA AND LVIV
Andras FERKAI – Hungary: Between National Myths and International Standards
Andrzej SZCZERSKI – Modernity and the New Poland: the cases of Gdynia and Lviv