For a variety of reasons, we’re always interested in the so-called former DDR (German Democratic Republic) when it comes to architecture and urban planning. One reason for sure is the mix of Modernist architecture influenced by the SED Regime and the way people should have lived and worked in “perfect” cities between 1949 and 1990. Just like the architecture of Ex Jugoslavia, also in Eastern Germany there are still many interesting cities and buildings left waiting to be explored. A recently opened exhibition in Eisenhüttenstadt drew our attention in particular:
Endless Beginning. The transformation of the Socialist City
The upheaval of 1989/90 led to a watershed in urban development throughout Eastern Germany, especially for industrial cities in peripheral locations. Industrial and commercial closure, migration and declining birth rates are causing shrinking cities, demolition and urban transformation. How will these cities cope in the years ahead? Can history reveal specific opportunities for the future? The Museum of Utopia and Daily Life invites visitors, residents and experts to jointly consider these questions and develop ideas.
Eisenhüttenstadt is an especially suitable example: planned as a “new type of city”, the first housing blocks of the socialist model city were developed here 70 years ago. The exhibition takes comparative perspectives on Nowa Huta in Poland and Schwedt in Brandenburg: how are these cities shaping social transformation? The exhibition also presents plans, models and photographs, as well as the artistic installation “DDR NOIR” by the artist Henrike Naumann.
The exhibition project “Endless Beginning. The transformation of the socialist city” is supported by the Federal Foundation for the Study of the Communist Dictatorship in Eastern Germany and was developed in cooperation with the Department of Visual Communication at the weißensee academy of art berlin. Also in cooperation with the City of Eisenhüttenstadt and the Städtisches Museum Eisenhüttenstadt, City Archive Department. Media partner: Das Magazin.
4.7.21 – 29.5.22
Tuesday to Sunday, national holidays
11.00 – 17.00
Images: Museum Utopie und Alltag, maz-online.de, Stadtarchiv Eisenhüttenstadt