Day 2: Memory and Historic Borders

Natalia Melikova shared the Constructivist Project whose mission is “to raise awareness of the threat to cultural heritage and to promote the preservation of avant-garde monuments.”

Her presentation highlighted a difference between uncontrolled vs controlled borders. In Moscow, she explained that federal status as a landmark means nothing. How is media used a means to regulate distance with the past? To maintain and preserve or to separate and distance? How does the city moderate the relationship of a building to neighborhood, and the city? Through her photography and activism, Natalia aims to highlight the systematic destruction of historic architectural buildings – specifically constructivist buildings – and how temporary construction is a means of erasing physical memory in the city. The biggest takeaway was about how architectural borders are being permeated and that they are under siege. Many constructivist buildings are now under threat of destruction, and one proposed idea was to show how different construction sites in the city can be mapped as part of a systematic destruction of these historic buildings.