Unfinished Utopia: Excavations and Reflections of a Socialist City

Monday, 2 December 2013, 6:00pm - 8:00pm, IWM library
Henryk Makarewicz/Foundation Imago Mundi collectionNowa Huta, a Polish new town modeled on Soviet “socialist cities” of the Stalinist era, was one of the largest and most ambitious urban planning projects in post-World War II Europe. The target of extensive controversy and propaganda at the heyday of Polish Stalinism (ca. 1948-1956), Nowa Huta was envisioned as a city of progress and labor, inhabited by “new men” full of faith in socialism and the future. Nowa Huta’s history, however, took several unexpected turns. The site of major anti-government protests from the 1960s to the 1980s, today, Nowa Huta is a de-industrializing suburb of 300,000. In a dialogue between words and images, history and memory, book author Katherine Lebow, filmmaker Dariusz Kowalski and IWM Permanent Fellow Timothy Snyder consider the meanings of Nowa Huta’s landscapes–real and imagined–for the present.

Katherine Lebow
Research Fellow, Vienna Wiesenthal Institute (Project: “Postwar Testimony, Polish Survivors, and the Cultural Specificities of Narrative Practice”); IWM Visiting Fellow in 2013

Dariusz Kowalski
Filmmaker, Medienwerkstatt Wien

Timothy Snyder
Housum Professor of History, Yale University; IWM Permanent Fellow

In cooperation with the Polish Institute in Vienna

Cover_Nowa Huta


Katherine Lebow
Unfinished Utopia
Nowa Huta, Stalinism, and Polish Society, 1949-56

Cornell University Press, 2013