Appropriations of Urban Space as Resistance: The Soviet Army Monument in Sofia Cover Image
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Усвоявания на градското пространство като съпротива: Паметникът на Съветската армия в София
Appropriations of Urban Space as Resistance: The Soviet Army Monument in Sofia

Author(s): Kristina Dimitrova
Published by: Фондация за хуманитарни и социални изследвания - София
Keywords: Monument of the Soviet Army; use of urban space; transforma- tion of public space; social resistance; creative resistance; street art; right to the city; everyday practices.

Summary/Abstract: The Soviet Army Monument in Sofia has been a topic of a variety of social debates and discords for decades. While some focus on its meaning and location in the city center, arguing about its potential removal, new generations use the place, ascribing new meanings and interpretations. Confronting the pow- er discourse, civil initiatives such as gay prides, marijuana decriminalization events and electronic dance music „street parades” use the symbolic meaning of the place to claim regard of the human rights and the freedom of expression. On the other hand, it has evolved as a medium for street art’s social criticism and contemporary art actions, focused on broader issues such as the conscious use of public space by citizens and provoking public debates on the contemporary way of living in the city. Meanwhile, young citizens have been transforming the space in a more casual way through everyday practices like hanging out, practicing urban sports and partying. All these appropriations reinterpret the monument and the surrounding park, converting it into a place of freedom, alternative lifestyles and anticonsumerism. The uses of the public space as an act of resistance reconcile social and political consciousness and leisure in a bottom-up search for “hu- mane” places created by people for people.

  • Issue Year: 2014
  • Issue No: 43
  • Page Range: 173-193
  • Page Count: 21