Submission deadline: September 6, 2021
Call of the session chaired by the CEAA researcher Rute Figueiredo in collaboration with Jasna Galjer of the University of Zagreb
S12 – Non-Aligned Narratives - South and Eastern European Architectural Criticism during the Cold War
Over the last few years, historiography has been increasingly engaged in a jeux d’échelles, as Jürgen Osterhammel (2006) pointed out, in which the global is detected in the local and “local specificity is placed within ever-increasing concentric contexts stretching towards globality”. This tendency is also perceptible in the historiography of architecture, where transnational approaches have uncovered new perspectives on the circulation of architects, models, and images, calling into question the well-established East vs West geopolitical dichotomy during the Cold War. As recent studies remind us (Moravanzsky 2017), the Cold War brought other geographical and conceptual interactions that were previously neglected by Western-based historiography of architecture. However, the global system of communication and network of agents that allowed the construction of non-aligned narratives between the South and Eastern European geographies still needs to be analysed.
This session wants to draw a comprehensive picture on South and Eastern European architectural criticism exchanges during the Cold War. The term non-aligned, borrowed from the geopolitical field, is here used in a broader sense to refer a conceptual and geographical framework that encompasses other narratives, discourses, debates and stories in architectural criticism which usually are not embraced into the “canonical” narratives. Non-alignment also alludes to the notion of a bridge between those European areas and non-Western geographies, namely South America.
This session invites contributions centred on non-aligned narratives and on the constellations of actors as well as places (formal and informal) of encounter and debate. It wants to inquire on the “situatedness” of architectural criticism as a platform of exchange and transfer of ideas, ideologies and knowledge. We are interested in proposals using comparative and critical analysis, namely studies focusing primarily on practices of dialogue, debate and cultural translation. We also welcome proposals that explore the network of "media-driven” agents: periodicals, exhibitions and other forms of communication in the public sphere (such as radio and television, performance, installation), bringing into the spotlight the process of constructing the new in-between political and disciplinary narratives in the field of architectural criticism.
Topics of interest include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Architectural criticism as a tool of the cultural, political, social, spatial, performative practice of cultural translation;
- Mediating architectural discourse through experimental models of communication, particularly in the public sphere;
- The impact of architectural criticism in the process of societal democratisation and modernisation.
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