For a long time scientific approaches to the analysis of spatial practices were dominated by the binary opposition of the material world vs. the mental world, or the real vs. the imagined. However, after intense discussions of various concepts of ‘urban space production’, preference is given now to such notions as place, location, locality, landscape, environment, home, city, region, territory, geography, etc. Whenever we try to look at what stands behind urban poverty, sexual or racial discrimination, environmental damage, or social diversity, we stem from the fact that cities are ‘spatial creatures’ that are actively involved in producing social spaces.
Cities are products of collective creation, and social implications of this creativity contribute to our understanding of the modern world. Edward Soja used the concept of trialectics for social space production. This concept allows analyzing not only social and historical dimensions of urban life, but its spatiality as well. We recorded interviews with people involved in creative work (creative communities) and tried to identify a link between the societal practice of creating something esthetic and Lviv’s social space. The project “Creative Communities in Soviet and Post-Soviet Lviv” was an attempt to track down and display the unofficial space of Soviet Lviv (lived space) that emerged as an alternative to (and often within) the official space (perceived space) of culture in Lviv and its representation (conceived space). According to this trialectics, all these spaces were closely intertwined in Soviet Lviv and shaped its social context and meaning. This project is a real asset as it does not resort to the narrative structure of value hierarchies and canons (like canons of better and worse artists), which is common used for describing creative communities, but tries to identify horizontal links as well as subjectivity and spatiality of urban creativity.
The project manager is Bohdan Shumylovych.
Reference to the collection: Based on the materials of the UStories project of the Center for Urban History of East Central Europe, collection “Creative Communities in Soviet and Post-Soviet Lviv”.
Reference to the interview: Interview with specialization, age, recorded date of the interview. Interviewer: firstnamelastname // Archive of the Center for Urban History of East Central Europe “UStories”, collection “Collection title”, p. page number.
Example: Interview with artist, 54, recorded on December 15, 2012. Interviewer: Natalia Otrishchenko // Archive of the Center for Urban History of East Central Europe “UStories”, collection “Creative Communities in Soviet and Post-Soviet Lviv”, p. 7.