Urban Myth in Aesthetic, Cultural, and Artistic Milieus in Kharkiv

Urban Myth in Aesthetic, Cultural, and Artistic Milieus in Kharkiv

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Viktoriia Grivina

Center for Urban History

22.4.2021, 16:00

What is the role of a myth in the life of today’s cities? How is our perception built to approach certain spaces, and how some places, monuments, and streets become more significant than others? Where do stereotypes come from about the "rough" or "prestigious" neighborhoods? How does the mythologization impact aesthetics, culture, and art produced and presented within urban space? In her presentation, the researcher will overview the relationship between the aesthetic and the mythological spaces in Kharkiv, and contemplate on how the forgotten historical narratives can last in urban legends, stereotypes, superstitions, and other irrational manifestations of conscience.

Today, the development of social media takes the spread of imaginary constructs, such as "urban myths" or conspiracy theories, onto a new level. Such constructs may play an ambivalent role – to facilitate the development, to incentivize or subdue certain behavioral models. The relatively young city of Kharkiv is a field for the co-existence of several historical narratives. They are young enough to be kept in the memory of material forms. In any case, the social environment keeps producing myths and legends. That is why Kharkiv is an illustrative case to explore the emergence, the ephemeral nature, and different forms of embedding urban myths.

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Viktoriia Grivina

Research fellow at the Center for Urban History (Lviv) in 2020-2021, a scholarship holder of the UK Government programme for development assistance (ODA). She defended her Master’s thesis on “The Influence of Street Art on Community Development in Kharkiv, Ukraine”. She conducted the research in the universities of Tubingen, St Andrews, and Bergamo. In September 2020, she joined the project “(Un)archiving of (post)industry”. She studies mythology and aesthetics of urban spaces of the industrial East of Ukraine.

The event has a format of a workshop, with the guest researchers to discuss academic projects and research works on different stages of progress, and of the completed projects prepared for print.

Participation in the Urban Seminar implies reading and discussing the researcher’s text. If you wish to join the workshop, please, send an email to Maryana Mazurak ([email protected]) to receive the materials in advance.


Cover image: Photo for illustrations: Industrial Kharkiv / Upor. Yeskov V.I. Kharkiv: Prapor, 1972. P. 10.