„Eastern Europe“ refers to the eastern part of Europe neighbouring Central Europe. In Western Europe, the term used until 1989 was usually „Eastern Bloc“ This term was given to the states of Central and Eastern Europe, which were in the sphere of influence of the Soviet Union and called themselves socialist. Because of the numerous differences in the respective regions, a distinction is now made between Southern, Central and Eastern Europe.
The project of the eastward extension of the EU since the 1990s was intended to put an end to the Cold War. It was imagined that the countries of Central and Eastern Europe were thus expanding the ‚area of freedom, security and justice‘. Above all, however, they provide a geostrategic buffer to the east and south-east and form new markets for the expansion of Western European capital.
The countries of the South Caucasus are more diverse than almost any other region in the world. This applies to the natural geographical framework, history, culture, political action and economic potential and borders. The Caucasus, if you add the North Caucasus, is situated on the periphery as well as in the centre of world politics.
For Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan, 1991 was not an opportunity for a fundamentally new beginning. Although the political elites postulated a „rebirth“, Soviet traditions continued to have an effect as a result of decades of Soviet cultural and economic policy.
All states have gone through complicated processes of identity formation. Tajikistan was the only state to fall into a painful civil war. In all states, ethnic-national designs to stabilize society and consolidate authority play an important role.
„Expose the objects, recover them, make them speak – that is the path of archaeology proposed here. (…) The world is viewed and readable through the history of things, through the analysis of signs and forms of transport, places and routines (…).Karl Schloegel (2017). The Soviet century, p. 21
The project #SpacesandPractises via @doinggeography explores in various regions the question of how people shape space as a social reality. This is primarily concerned with spaces where there are conflicts of interpretation. These arise from the fact that different groups compete for the sovereignty of interpretation over the space. In other words, they want to determine how all subjects and objects that appear in it are to be understood.
The aim here is to follow the traces in space, to sift through them, and also to secure the legacies of past generations. The findings that are brought to light, captured in photographs and stories, are to be put together in a mosaic, which is commonly referred to as history.