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Mapping Cultural Space Across Eurasia

Symbolic significance

Basic assumptions:

  • Public space is a symbolic space. After revolutions or power system changes new rulers often try to get the control over the public space / or people who fight against a certain regime try to get the control over the public space.
  • Time and space are interwoven. Time is relative, which means that the past can change if new views are developing in the present (Clair/Williams).
  • If a Lenin statue is removed, the empty place has a meaning.

Ideas for a mapping project:

  • To map all Lenin statues in the Ukraine: When were they raised? When removed?
  • To map all Lenin statues of the former socialist countries.

Why should that be mapped?


  • In the Ukraine more than 4000 Lenin statues were build during the soviet period. Ca. 2200 of them survived the 1990ties. During the crisis 2013/14 about 300 statues were removed by activists. ( The removal of Lenin from the public space got a symbolic meaning in a current conflict which has interestingly more to do with the Ukraine’s relationship to modern day Russia than to the soviet past, which Lenin himself is standing for. Mapping the “Leninopad” can show in which regions the protests against Yanukovych and his pro-Russian politics / the Russian annexation of the Crimea were more intense than in others. Ideally the history of each fall should be reconstructed and linked to the dot at the map.   

The former socialist countries:

  • The mapping of all removed and still existing Lenin statues can give information about the country’s dealing with their socialist past. When were the statues removed? Do some of them still exist? By means of a map one can compare, how the different post socialist countries coped with this heritage.


  • How can a map express the changing symbolic meanings (communism / Russian present day domination) of Lenin's monuments  in different times and countries?
  • How can the relative dimension of time – the “concept of cultural emergence” (Clair/Williams) – be expressed in a map?
Symbolic significance