Appropriations of Urban Space as Resistance: The Soviet Army Monument in Sofia Cover Image
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Appropriations of Urban Space as Resistance: The Soviet Army Monument in Sofia
Appropriations of Urban Space as Resistance: The Soviet Army Monument in Sofia

Author(s): Kristina Dimitrova
Subject(s): Civil Society, Governance, Sociology of Culture, Sociology of Politics
Published by: Фондация за хуманитарни и социални изследвания - София
Keywords: Soviet Army Monument; use of urban space; transformation of public Space; social resistance; creative resistance; street art; right to the city; everyday practices

Summary/Abstract: The Soviet Army Monument in Sofi a has been the subject of a variety of public debates and controversies for decades. While some focus on its meaning and location in the city centre, arguing about its potential removal, new generations use the place, ascribing it new meanings and interpretations. Confronting the power discourse, civic initiatives such as gay pride parades, marijuana decriminalization events, and techno parades, use the symbolic meaning of the place to demand respect of human rights and 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, thereby 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 anti-consumerism. The uses of public space as an act of resistance reconcile social and political consciousness and leisure in a bottom-up search for ‘humane’ places created by people for people.

  • Issue Year: 2016
  • Issue No: 46
  • Page Range: 51-71
  • Page Count: 21
  • Language: English