Interpreting Post-Socialist Icons: From Pride and Hate Towards Disappearance And/Or Assimilation

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Issue: Volume 4, Issue 1, 2010

Cultural landscape, as compilation of forms, functions and meanings, always reflexes the relationship of power and control out of which it has emerged. Major landscape transformations follow principal social revolutions. One of the recent major political transformations had been started in Central Europe in 1989 with the collapse of the communist regimes. Cultural landscape of Central and Eastern Europe has been carrying many communism related features, structures and procedures, represented by variety of landscape icons. The former symbols of the regimes and Soviet dominance had been undergoing liminal transformations since then. Some icons had been forgotten and disappeared, while some others have been incorporated into contemporary cultural landscape, usually thanks to transformed function and/or meaning. The former icons are left between oblivion and assimilation and can represent the application of the post-socialist memory policy, and readiness to accept or deny the traumatic past. The liminal societies of Central and Eastern Europe choose, sometimes unconsciously, what to remember and what to forget. Transformation of the former communist icons represents the cultural interaction of the place, time and society and can be seen as a litmus paper of the transformations.

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