ECOLOGIES OF DECAY: MODERN RUINATION IN THE GLOBAL (POST)SOCIALIST PERIPHERIES, organised by Dr. Dimitra Gkitsa from SSEES at University College London.
How was the socialist modernity and its ideology materialised in the global rural and urban territories? What are the social and political transformations that have occurred in the post-socialist villages and towns after socialist projects? In what ways can the material and visual ruination of rural spaces capture the collective memories of local communities?
Reflecting on the above questions, this conference takes ruination both as a metaphor and as an actual reality to theorise the social and political transformations that have occurred in the global peripheries at the aftermath of socialist modernity. Ruins are concrete spaces of abandonment, forgotten material remnants, decayed sites, and objects from another past. Here, abandonment is clearly not something momentary that occurred in a specific temporal framework but rather a continuing process—a ruin always in the making which can offer a framework to understand the very process of decay. Ruins can also be a critical position and standpoint to capture the functioning and withering of discourses and experiences located on the margins and the back alleys of mainstream modernity.