The architectural legacy left behind by the Iron Curtain, the subject of the three films in this session, teaches us that political regimes are not neutral but ideological constructions that condition both architecture and forms of configurating space. Communism in countries such as Ukraine, Poland and Bulgaria gave rise to a kind of mono-functional city planned around the Soviet Industrial Revolution, implying the organization of the population into a unified labor force and gave rise to an oppressive lifestyle reduced to work and housing activities.
The documentary Centrallurgy is about the city of Mariupol, Ukraine. During the formation of the Soviet bloc, Mariupoul abandoned agricultural production to become a major metallurgical hub, the most industrialized city in the USSR and one of the largest steel exporters in the world. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the extreme specialization of local industry and the consequent rigidity of the city’s design undermined its survival.
In Poland, in the 50s, 60s and 70s, an “interstellar architecture style” was born in the region of Katovice, inspired by the space race imagery. A considerable number of buildings have been built in the region, reminiscent of cosmic objects with futuristic forms and volumes, similar to flying saucers. The space race echoed not only in music, film and design, but also in architecture of that time. This is the subject of the documentary Archikosmos ( Poland, 2018).
Post-historical dreaming is a critique of concrete monuments built in Bulgaria as symbols of Soviet ideals of grandeur. By capturing the aura of the buildings and the political ghosts that inhabit them, the film brings to light the lack of meaning and cynicism of these constructions that actually celebrated communist authoritarianism.
Austria, 2018, 18’
New Talents Competition
Poland, 2018, 30’
Colletivo Locument – Francisco Lobo / Romea Muryń
Portugal, 2016, 32’