An Eighteenth-Century Theme Park: Museum-Reserve Tsaritsyno (Moscow) and the Public Culture of the Post-Soviet Metropolis
The article discusses the dramatic history of the Tsaritsyno Park and museum-reserve. By the mid-2000s it had become one of Moscow’s iconic places and a zone where urban public culture was shaped. The authors trace the history of this architectural ensemble and park in terms of their role in сity culture and analyse changes in the historical culture of contemporary post-Soviet Moscow. The Tsaritsyno Park and museum exemplify these changes. An unfinished country residence of Catherine II, with a Grand Palace that had stood as a ruin for over 200 years, it has been radically renewed by the Moscow city authorities in what came to be labelled ‘fantasy restoration.’ The palace was finished and now serves as the core of the museum, organised according to a controversial historical policy. Tsaritsyno as a whole became a cultural oddity featuring historical attractions for the public, effectively an ‘eighteenth-century theme park’.
The article discusses the issues of urban public space in Russian cities in the context of the anti-electoral fraud protests in 2011-2012. The role of urban public space and its contestation has become central to the debate on the worldwide wave of Occupy movement, but it is important to contextualize the protest movements in national and local developments in public space use. Therefore, the article focuses on the post-socialist transformations of public space in Russian cities, St. Petersburg and Moscow. Attitudes, representations, and perceptions of public space are studied on the basis of media analysis (including mass media, blog entries, as well as official documents). The analysis shows, that the importance of the space in Russian anti-electoral protests in 2011-2012 was significant, the protesters strived to reclaim the central and symbolically loaded parts of the city, and thus regain the political authority as well. The way of reclaiming the space is now not only organizing rallies and protest street actions, but also a variety of direct actions aiming at transforming the urban space.
The historiography of the XXIst c., which had been shaped by the influence of the so-called cultural turn, created a new field of research 'the history of historical culture'. This book presents a study of historical culture where the latter is approached through the synthesis of social, cultural and intellectual history. Intellectual phenomena have been placed in broad context of social experience, historical mentality and general intellectual processes. How did people view events (of their own lives, or of the life of their groups, but also of History) which they took part in? How did they evaluate them? How did they record and transmit information about those events while interpreting what had been seen or lived through? These questions are of great interest. Subjectivity combined with this information reflects views of a social group or of the society as a whole, but at the same time it shows cultural and historical features of its time.
The phenomenon of self-disclosure can be considered at different levels of scientific exploration being approached either from the socio-psychological viewpoint or from the individually determined personal perspective, where the subject of openness may serve as an individual with his personal potential in the field of social communications, and social groups or corporations as well. At the level of communicative dialogue and interpersonal relationships self-disclosure is manifestation of human potential capabilities and his readiness for open and trusting cooperation in society. In practical terms, handling these issues can be referred to as a social order from the part of the representatives of those professions where comfortable social communication appears to be an important factor of communicative competence and professionalism of the person.
The article discusses the post-socialist developments of urban public space in St. Petersburg, Russia. The city with a historic center protected by the UNESCO World Heritage status in combination with the Soviet legacy of lack of public participation is facing the problem of public space development. There are two controversial concepts of urban space represented in the public discourse that are analyzed in the article: the concept of a ‘museum city’ and the ‘city for people’. The historic context of transformation (the Soviet period of the strict divide of public and private, and the post- socialist era of individualization and the decay of the public) is used to explain the current debate and difficulties of building an inclusive and tolerant model of public space in St. Petersburg.