Politics of Memory and Urban Landscape: The Case of Lviv after World War II

JVF Conference Papers

Lviv (Lwów, Lemberg, Lvov)—an East European city, located in the Polish-Ukrainian border zone, recently attracted the attention of many scholars. Its history and cultural heritage is an interesting source for studying cross-cultural influences and identity contests, politics of memory, processes of nationalization of urban space, as well as its symbolic marking. During the medieval period Lviv developed as a poly-cultural, poly-religious and poly-ethnic space inhabited by Armenians, Germans, Jews, Poles, Ruthenians (Ukrainians), and others. All of them left their imprints on the city’s landscape creating many places of memory. At the same time, their co-habitation entailed a constant struggle through symbolic representations and markers of urban space. Coming into the era of modern nationalism, their contest became stronger and evolved into an attempt to turn the whole city into a national symbol.

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