Cold War Spaces: Bigger than East vs. West

Happy President’s Day! The last decade saw a steep rise in publications about Cold War global connections. More and more, the Cold War is seen no longer as a bipolar conflict between East and West but as a global network connecting the capitalist West, the communist East and the global South. Architectural historians have been at the forefront of this new direction.

The next Cold War Spaces guest, Christina Schwenkel, Professor of Anthropology at the University of California Riverside, published her fascinating recent book Building Socialism: The Afterlife of East German Architecture in Urban Vietnam about an East German housing project in the bombed-out provincial town of Vinh, based on extensive field research in both East Germany and Vietnam. Her story not only encapsulates the flow of expertise and manpower from the GDR to Vietnam under the banner of international solidarity, but also describes the tensions between utopian dreams and practical realities on the ground, including the clash between “international modernism” and local needs and traditions.

Wednesday, February 17, 12 p.m. PST: Christina Schwenkel – Solidarity Space: East German Architects in Vietnam

RSVP link:

If you are interested but not able to join the live interview, you can check out the recorded video the next day here:

Or as podcast here:

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