Perceptions of CommunismRomeo BosnaElena RapondzhievaMariya KamarashkaBrian ZuluEdiomi Iyanam
Aims and objectives• We aimed to find out what has remained from Communism in Prague today, 22 years after the official fall of the regime. We would explore that in terms of the way the city looks and in terms of the way people live and think.
Working Definitions:• 1. a theory or system of social organization based on the holding of all property in common, actual ownership being ascribed to the community as a whole or to the state.• 2. a system of social organization in which all economic and social activity is controlled by a totalitarian state dominated by a single and self- perpetuating political party.” (Dictionary.com 2012)
Methods and Methodology• Preliminary Research- history of Prague and the Czech Republic, their current situation in terms of politics, media and way of life.• Field Research- Flow of tourists- Graffiti tracking- Classic derive: dice system Audio-Visual data
Capital of the Czech Republic since 1992The country sits on 78,864 square metresHome to almost 10.5 million people1.2 million people live in the capital of Prague.
In 1355 Prague became the capital of the HolyRoman Empire after King Charles IV wascrowned Emperor.The construction of the „Stone Bridge‟ beganin 1357 and finished in the beginning of the15 century. It was later named ‘CharlesBridge’
By the year 1781 the present day historic centreof Prague was created by the Holy RomanEmperor Joseph II.Patent on toleration of religion.In 1918 the empire was defeated and its falllead to the creation of the state ofCzechoslovakia.In 1939 their industrial growth was cut shortby the Nazi occupation.
In 1945 the PragueUprising occurred.On May 9, 1945 theSoviet Red Armyentered Prague
ReligionHuge numbers of historic churches andreligious artefactsConverted to Christianity in the 9th Century(Catholic)15th Century there was significant call forreform and the Protestant faith started togather pace.During the period of Communistrule, religion was effectively banned.
• Freedom of Speech• Press Freedom• Cultural FreedomPolitical Reformsby Dubček
THE VELVETREVOLUTION17 November – 29 December 1989(a total of 6 weeks)Led to Czechoslovakia‟s firstdemocratic elections won byVáclav Havel.On January 1, 1993,Czechoslovakia peacefully splitinto two independent countries,Czech Republic and Slovakia
• Tuan Yi-Fu“What begins as an undifferentiated space becomes place as we get to know it betterand endow it with value… The ideas „space‟ and „place‟ require each other fordefinition. From the security and stability of place we are aware of the openness,freedom, and threat of space, and vice versa.”Methods of researchapproach into a city
Our habitus• Pierre Bourdieu- “can be understood as the values and dispositionsgained from our cultural history that generally staywith us across contexts (they are durable andtransportable).”(Webb, Schirato and Geoff 2002, 36)
Habitusand Hexisthe city‟s architecture is thephysical embodiment of itshabitus, or its “bodily hexis”(Webb, Schirato and Geoff 2002)
QUOTESWhat do you remember aboutcommunism? “When I was a child …I was- Not to much really….I was too happy, got a chance to play willyoung. dolls, I had toys, food. I used to travel with “my parents a lot around the Czech Republic… “It`s quite complicated with the parents ….but I can tell you about my grandparents. And this is more interesting .At the beginning…it was hard for them to adapt, because they were not working and everything went up – the prices, cost of living, everything was high. The first 2-3 years of capitalism were hard years, but slowly after that….it was ok.”
In conclusion, this idea of Prague and the Czech people havingmoved on from the experience of communism was evidentthroughout the city: the exploitation of the topic as a touristattraction (through souvenirs and museums); the renovation and“westernization” of communist buildings and neighbourhoodsoutside the city centre; the light and unburdened attitude ofyoung people towards the subject – all of this spoke to us that forCzech people communism is no longer a painful memory. Conclusion
Limitations• Missing a person with a Western background on our field research.• More primary research in the form of interviews.
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