Lecture by Ievgeniia Gubkina: Ukrainian heritage

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Created at 11. Apr. 2022

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by dorftv

Lecture by Ievgeniia Gubkina: Ukrainian heritage of leftist urbanism under Russian threat

Kharkiv is a two-million city in the eastern part of Ukraine. It is world famous for its interwar modernism architecture including Soviet-Ukrainian constructivism. From the first days of the full-scale war of Russia against Ukraine, the city of Kharkiv was intensively attacked by Russian missiles and shelling. The whole city center has been seriously damaged by bombs. Civilian infrastructure facilities including hospitals and schools were no exception. Behind all this are hundreds of civilians, women, children and seniors died from Russian weapons. But not only people, Ukrainian heritage is in danger.

Kharkiv is famous for it's bright range of architecture: among others for the former government center of Soviet Ukraine (now known as the Freedom Square), for the Derzhprom building, the Tractor Factory district (socialist city “New Kharkiv”, 1930-34), and other cooperative housing estates, a network of workers' settlements, workers’ clubs, canteens and socially oriented architecture of leftist typologies. Experiencing its golden days in the 1920s and 1930s during the period of the Ukrainian New Economic Policy and national communism, Kharkiv became a platform for various urban projects of the most radical left urbanism.

Today, the whole heritage of left art, architecture and urbanism, memory of the capital of the “Executed Renaissance” is in danger. Ievgeniia Gubkina, architect, historian of architecture and curator will talk about Kharkiv's threat of losing its heritage, memory and identity.

Ievgeniia Gubkina

Architect, historian of architecture, curator of architecture and art projects, educational activities. She is a co-founder of the NGO Urban Forms Center and the avant-garde women's movement “Modernistki”. Her work specializes in architecture and urban planning of the 20th in Ukraine, and multidisciplinary approach to heritage studies. Her first book “Slavutych: Architectural Guide” was published in 2015 by DOM Publishers in Germany and was dedicated to the architecture of the last Soviet city of Slavutych, built after the Chornobyl disaster for workers of the Chornobyl nuclear power plant. In 2019, after many years of research, her second book “Soviet Modernism. Brutalism. Post-Modernism. Buildings and Structures in Ukraine 1955–1991” was published by Osnovy Publishing and DOM Publishers. In 2020 she curated the “Encyclopedia of Ukrainian Architecture” multimedia online project. After the Russian war against Ukraine started in 2022, she was forced to leave Kharkiv and temporarily moved to Latvia.

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