All posts filed under: East/West

In this section, we look at the interaction and circulation of ideas, trends, and practices across regions. Ranging from architecture and urban planning to design and material and popular culture, we explore the post-war urban landscape as a reflection of wider social, economic, political and cultural trends and developments, looking not only at the opposition between East and West but also at examples of the East in the West and the West in the East.

Eisenstein’s England: An Interview with Ian Christie

Sergei Eisenstein is perhaps the most famous Soviet film-maker, and is amongst the figures who would most define Twentieth-Century cinematic theory and practice. In the mid 20’s, he directed the cinematic masterpieces STRIKE, BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN and OCTOBER. While Soviet policies towards art and international exchange became more conservative in the late 1920’s, Eisenstein travelled abroad, spending time in Europe, the United States and Mexico.

Travelling the USSR in 1982 – memories of a ‘surplus group’

In 1982, when she was 21, my mum joined an exchange programme to travel through the Soviet Union. The group of 30 young Germans produced a travel diary that she recently dug out for me from the attic. In the introduction it reads: “If somebody reads this in a few years, they should consider the following words by Theodor Fontane: ‘He who wants to travel has to bring with him love for the country and the people, at the least he shouldn’t bring prejudice. He needs to have the good intention to find the good instead of killing it through critical comparisons.'”

La fascistissima ‘città del duce’: a visit to Mussolini’s hometown

The city of Forli in north-east Italy is best known as the hometown of Benito Mussolini, leader of the National Fascist Party and ruler of Italy from 1922 until the end of WWII. During his two decades as Fascist ruler of Italy Mussolini transformed Forli, which came to be known as “Citta del Duce” or City of the Leader, into a representation of the fascist regime and its political aspirations. Another more recent resident of Forli, Barbara Bravi, returns to her city to trace how the function of its fascist architecture has changed from a means of celebrating the old regime to understanding the city’s totalitarian past.