Chronicle

Center's Fellows
November 20, 2015

Center for Urban History continues its scholarship program. This month we welcome Olha Kazakova, Candidate of Art History, Director of the Institute of Modernism (Moscow), and senior researcher at the Research Institute of the Theory and History of Architecture of the Russian Academy of Architecture and Building Sciences (RAABN).

In 2009 Olha defended her thesis on "The concept of 'modernity' in architecture during "the thaw." The scientific editor of the book "Aesthetics of 'the thaw' - novelties in architecture, art, culture" (2013), co-author of the book "Leonid Pavlov. 1909-1990"(2015), and author of many articles on architecture, art and culture during the period of Soviet modernism.

Olha specializes in post 1953 architecture and art. In her research, she focuses on the processes of transformation in basic ethical categories of Soviet society - from the death of Stalin through the Soviet collapse - and their effects on aesthetic forms of architecture, urban planning and other forms of art.

Now Olha Kazakova is working on research "From Peaceful atom to Soviet apocalypse: monuments to the Chernobyl Catastrophy in Ukraine, Russia and other countries." This study raises the question of memorializing trauma and about the specifics of this memorialization in the context of a huge nuclear disaster. The researcher examines various (successful and unsuccessful) attempts to express, through sculpture and graphic images, the tragic events of 1986, the main artistic techniques and their origins, and new ways of using Christian themes from the second half of the 1980s. One of the key elements of this research is to explore the reactions "consumers" of the monumental art found in these monuments have as the bearers of "negative," and tragic information. This is being studied using the memorials in Izhevsk (Russia) and Lviv (the monument in Sykhiv). A portion of the research, devoted to monuments of the Chornobyl events in Ukraine, are being conducted at the Center for Urban History of East Central Europe in Lviv.

During her fellowship at the Center, Olha Kazakova will hold a lecture "From the Peaceful Atom to the Soviet Apocalypse - Memorials to the Chornobyl Catastrophe in Ukraine, Russia and other Countries" and also presented the book "Leonid Pavlov. 1909-1990".