The Empire Strikes Back?

Editors: Michaela Geboltsberger, Georg Schöllhammer
Publisher:, Vienna
Content: 84 pages
Year: 2016

A traveling academy through the post-Soviet cityscape

Is the Empire striking back? The Soviet period is judged differently today from country to country.
In the autumn of 2016, a traveling academy made up of intellectuals, urban researchers, architects, and activists from Kyiv, Minsk, Moscow, Chişinău, Tbilisi, and Yerevan traversed the post-Soviet cityscapes of these capitals, accompanied by Western European colleagues who met with these local groups and experts and held discussions with them under the theme »The Empire Strikes Back?«
The talks were based on the question of whether, out of the common past in the Empire and the separate yet shared experience of the post-Soviet city, models could be developed for a joint future in what is now a multiply divided region (and whether an understanding could be gained of cultural and sociopolitical processes and tensions).

The articles present local reflections by the various participants: on buildings, situations, and areas of conflict. The result is images of the post-Soviet present day and of living day-to-day with the built witnesses to the Empire.

A project by Goethe-Institut and in Chişinău, Kyiv, Minsk, Moscow, Tbilisi and Yerevan

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Florian Bauer

Director Social Finance, Sustainability and Innovation
Since 2023, Florian Bauer has been responsible for social finance, sustainability and social innovation at ERSTE Foundation. Prior to this role, Florian worked in the NGO & Social Entrepreneurship sector for more than 13 years. He led the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP), an international multilateral NGO that works to accelerate market-based deployment of renewable energy and energy efficient systems in developing countries, and was Managing Director & COO of the Impact Hub Vienna. From 2020-2023, Florian established strategic alliances with key partners and helped to create innovative semantic technology solutions at Semantic Web Company (SWC), a leading IT company in semantic AI solutions.