School of Geography

Food for thought - urban allotments as alternative spaces in (post) socialism

Wednesday 25th November 2020 (13:00-14:00)
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With Marin Cvitanovic, Bournemouth University.

Part of the Cultural and Historical Seminar Series.

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Community gardens are multi-layered places which satisfy diverse needs of urban residents, including home grown food, socializing, recreation, contact with the nature, and supplementation for low pensions. In Zagreb they emerged in two specific economic and socio-cultural contexts, during socialism and the post-socialist transition. A diachronous approach to this topic offers a unique insight into differences and similarities reflecting and contrasting those periods.  

In this lecture Zagreb's community gardens are examined as heterotopias or alternative spaces during both periods. In the socialist period they were secluded, private, pseudo-rural places in a semi-authoritarian, communal, and (supposedly) urban and industrial society. In post-socialist Zagreb, characterized by an uncontrolled and unplanned spatial context reliant on neoliberal market-oriented principles, social insensitivity and exclusion, the new gardens are depicted as beacons of communal involvement, grassroots movements, and the ability of citizens to stand together and make their voices heard. 

School of Geography

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