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Political identity, public memory and urban space: a case study of Parcul Carol I, Bucharest from 1906 to the present

Light, Duncan and Young, Craig (2010) Political identity, public memory and urban space: a case study of Parcul Carol I, Bucharest from 1906 to the present. Europe-Asia Studies, 62 (9). pp. 1453-1478. ISSN 1465-3427

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Abstract

This article analyses the inter-relationship between political identity, public memory and urban space in South-east Europe through a case study of Parcul Carol I (Carol I Park) in Bucharest, Romania from 1906 to the present. The article analyses how the urban cultural landscape has been reshaped to support the political ambitions of three successive regimes—Romania as a kingdom and liberal constitutional monarchy (1881–1938); state-socialist Romania (1947–1989); and the post-socialist Romanian state from 1989. The article highlights complex continuity from the state-socialist period under post-socialism, rather than destruction of the landscape of state-socialism, combined with the return of pre-socialist landscape elements. The article argues for the need for studies of the fate of state-socialist urban landscapes under post-socialism which consider the complexities introduced by the persistence of landscape elements from the pre-socialist and state-socialist periods and their combination with pre-socialist and post-socialist landscapes to produce hybrid memory-scapes and spaces of the nation.

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