Online lecture: “Figures in a landscape” by Axel Fisher

On April 22nd 2021, Axel Fisher (ass. prof. p.t.) at hortence lab will deliver an online lecture entitled

“Figures in a landscape”
notes for a history of rural planning and village design in the Eastern bloc

within the frame of a webinar (April-May 2021) organized MaMo – Materializing Modernity (Landscape, Architecture and Anthropology intersections in 20th-century rurality:, a Marie Curie individual postdoctoral fellowship lead by Dr. Federica Pompejano (Academy of Albanian Studies – ASA / Institute of Cultural Anthropology and Art Studies – IAKSA, Albania).

Sown areas of State and Collective and Individual Farms, 1913-1932 (from: L. Kogan (ed.) The Struggle for Five Years In Four, Izostat Institute – State Publishing House of Fine Arts, 1932)

In this lecture, Axel Fisher will address the oblivion of rural planning and village design expertise in the former Eastern bloc, at least in Western scholarship. To this aim, he will single out the major issues at stake in this expertise across the short 20th-century in the Russian, Ukrainian and Estonian SSRs, and in the German Democratic Republic.
To this aim, “figures” of two different natures – quantitative and visual – are discussed in parallel. On one side, official statistics of agriculture concerning average surfaces and populations of state and collective farms allow to identify major shifts and breaks in socialist countries’ agricultural modernization policies, and to outline major chronological eras. From this perspective, model planning schemes and architectural layouts drawn from a limited number of reference publications on socialist rural architecture and planning acquire deeper historical meaning.
Over and all, this contribution aims at outlining a number of research question for further inquiry, which may be of interest for a general revaluation of 20th-century rural planning and village design expertise, but also to situate rural built heritage artifacts in a wider historical perspective.

Thursday 22.04.2021 from 5pm to 7pm CET • ZOOM link: Event code [03W] • ID MEETING: 863 9792 7066 • PASSCODE: 176601 • More info: federica.pompejano[at]