Urban space, political identity and the unwanted legacies of state socialism: Bucharest's problematic Centru Civic in the post-socialist era.

Light, D. and Young, C., 2013. Urban space, political identity and the unwanted legacies of state socialism: Bucharest's problematic Centru Civic in the post-socialist era. Nationalities Papers, 41 (4), 515 - 535.

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DOI: 10.1080/00905992.2012.743512

Abstract

This paper explores the relationship between the urban cultural landscape of Bucharest and the making of post-socialist Romanian national identity. As the capital of socialist Romania, central Bucharest was extensively remodelled by Nicolae Ceauşescu into the Centru Civic in order to materialize Romania's socialist identity. After the Romanian "Revolution" of 1989, the national and local state had to deal with a significant "left-over" socialist urban landscape which was highly discordant with the orientation of post-socialist Romania and its search for a new identity. Ceauşescu's vast socialist showpiece left a difficult legacy which challenges the material and representational reshaping of Bucharest and constructions of post-socialist Romanian national identity more broadly. The paper analyzes four attempts to deal with the Centru Civic: developments in the immediate post-1989 period; the international architectural competition Bucureşti 2000; proposals for building a Cathedral of National Salvation; and the Esplanada project. Despite over 20 years of proposals central Bucharest remains largely unchanged. The paper thus deals with a failed attempt to re-shape the built environment in support of national goals. © 2013 Copyright Association for the Study of Nationalities.

Item Type:Article
ISSN:0090-5992
Uncontrolled Keywords:Romania; Bucharest; built environment; Communist showpiece; national identity
Subjects:UNSPECIFIED
Group:Faculty of Management
ID Code:21511
Deposited By: Unnamed user with email symplectic@symplectic
Deposited On:23 Oct 2014 08:51
Last Modified:02 Aug 2016 11:53

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