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Industrial biographies of the city

Lviv is rarely described as an industrial city, although dozens of big plants and smaller factories and workshops used to operate here in the 1950/80s. Production facilities attracted new people to the city that added new residential neighborhoods, medical, pre-school, educational, and cultural places. We are collecting biographies of labor – they are not only about work but about people who made friends, started their families, entertained, and lived side by side in factory managed multi-apartment blocs. The collection of interviews currently includes 26 recordings. By the end of the project, we plan to collect up to 60-70 interviews. The interviewers represent workers from the plants of LAZ (Lviv Bus Manufacturing Plant), Fork Truck Plant, Poliaron, Mikroprylad, “Avtobusprom” Institute of Bus Building, and ”Promin” production facility. During the conversations, we focus on the time span from the 1950s to early 2000s. We started accumulating the interviews in February, 2021, and plan to continue by the end of the year. The talks are using the semi-structured in-depth biographical interview method. The average duration is 2 hours, or longer. Questions start from the childhood memories of storytellers, and reflections on the city. They cover the period of working at a company, relations with colleagues, political activities, job safety, and environment-related issues. A big part of the questionnaire is about receiving apartments from factories, cultural leisure time (amateur performances, concerts of pop stars, theater going, cinema going, etc.) organized by the enterprise, vacations at recreation centers, in sanatoria, and in pioneer camps. The concluding bloc of questions covers the period of Perestroika and the early 1990s. For many storytellers the time brought unemployment or re-training for new occupations; others managed to continue at the company that overcame the crisis, or started their own businesses. The interviews are conducted by Myroslava Liakhovych, as part of the “Unarchiving of post-industry” project designed to collect, digitalize, and build archives of industrial epoch, such as about Lviv. The collection is illustrated by a photo from a production shop at the Fork Trucks Plant, courtesy of Stepan Misinskyi.
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Industrial biographies of the city
Mayak employee, born 1960
Interview with a woman who worked as a drafter, later she moved to work as a fashion designer and as an art director.
Khimzavod employee, born 1938
Interview with a man who worked at the Avtobusprom as a chief engineer and later as as a technologist in the main shop, the chief of the shop, and a shift supervisor at the Khimzavod.
Mayak employee, born 1961
Interview with a woman who has been working at the Mayak factory since 1984.
Mayak employee, born 1956
Interview with a woman who after graduating from the College of Light Industry in 1973 started to work at "Mayak".
Miasokombinat employee, born 1951
Interview with a woman who started working at the Meat Factory in 1968 and stayed there until 1993.
Sklozavod employee, born 1942
Interview with a man, who 1966 went to work at the Glass Mirror Factory as an electrician repairman and later had different positions.