We are an interdisciplinary research group on Urban Studies, which deals with the changes of European and Asian cities after 1989.
The research consists in a thorough analysis of different situations within the framework of a comparative approach. Our objective is to analyze individual case studies considered as integral parts of a single interpretative discourse. We are open to historical and economical methods, as well as to the approaches of social sciences, literature and art.
We get started on the topic “Urban changes and minorities after 1989” as a part of a wider PRIN group (research project of national interest) entitled “Rights of citizenship and minorities in the formation of nation States from the Baltic to Central Asia in the 20th century”, which is supported by the Italian Ministry of Instruction, University and Research (MIUR). The national scientific coordinator of the project is Prof. Andrea Graziosi, while the research unit’s scientific coordinator is Prof. Marco Buttino.
This research unit deals with the rights of minorities when nation states and cities are going through periods of profound transformation in the years following the collapse of the Soviet and East-European regimes. The geographic area encompassed in the research comprises regions of Central and Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia. The definition of countries’ borders, determining the criteria for obtaining citizenship, and policies of inclusion and exclusion, has led to the creation of new minorities and transformed the social status of existing ones.
With regard to the cities, from Europe to Central Asia, the critical phases of transformation have been accompanied by mass population shifts, economic and occupational crisis, collective traumas, and, at times, violence. This first period of crisis led to new ideas of organization of space, to a thorough restructuring of the cities and to a more diversified urban life. These transformations imply and suggest a critical view of the past.
Thus, after focusing on minorities, we decided to give particular attention also to the past of the cities which experienced a significant change after 1989.
To this end our blog strives to offer a common place to exchange information, to discuss studies and research materials, and to collaborate with each other. Not least, we aim to create a connection with other international researchers, who deal with the same or similar topics. Thus, any suggestions, ideas and contacts are highly appreciated!© Sibylle Bergemann, “Ohne Titel”, 1984, from the series “The Monument” (1975-86),
Marx-Engels-Monument, Berlin; Courtesy Sammlung Sibylle Bergemann, press photo “Ostzeit”.