The Impact of Potsdam's Cultural Landscape in Repressive Times.
Associated PhD project
In this comparative study of one city in two political systems, I will discuss questions regarding urban development city dynamics in a historical perspective as well as local cultural politics and self-perception. Do cities have choices – and if so, does this also apply to cities in dictatorial systems? Do local politics matter in dictatorial times? How can we explain continuities and inconsistencies of traditional lines in different political systems? – My research on the German city of Potsdam, near Berlin, starts with the observation that the periodical classification and perception of architecture and urban development/design during National Socialism and the German Democratic Republic should be refined. Limits of political power (‘Grenzen der Herrschaft’) can be found in local deviations from central positions. But how do these local deviations emerge? Potsdam is a city with strong historical charisma, based on its role as a garrison town and residence of Prussian rulers since 1713. Potsdam’s unique cultural landscape consists of an architectural heritage surrounded by an impressive scenery of lakes, hills and corresponding visual axes. In my work I will discuss a selection of ambitious housing projects during the two German dictatorships. They are not only relevant contributions to urban development in twentieth century Germany and Europe, but they also represent specific Potsdam solutions. The wealth of historical monuments and the cultural landscape had a strong impact on spatial and architectural structures. Upon closer inspection, it is remarkable how local protagonists dealt with the historical heritage and provided room for special architectural and urban solutions.
Edda Campen Fine Arts - Architectural History - Contemporary History
Leibniz Centre for Contemporary History Potsdam
Am Neuen Markt 1
campen [at] zzf-potsdam.de