- 2:00 p.m.
In this lecture Visiting Professor Dr. Xenia Vytuleva will discuss
the urban phenomenon of Soviet Secret Cities ZATO, it’s correlation to
the concept of “human geography”, and how these “realized utopias” reflected the socio-political and aesthetic discourses of the Cold War.
Lasting one fifteen-millionth of a second, the double lightning flash
of Hiroshima and Nagasaki precipitated an official carte blanche to
establish a new, utopian and secret format of Soviet urbanity. Nameless,
not plotted on any map, even blurred on Google Earth, Soviet secret
cities, or ZATO, were sites of highly secretive military and scientific
research and production. Inspired by ideal cities, based on perfect
geometric plans, articulated by progressive modernist architectural
language, ZATO were representing the most updated ideology of the Party.
Shimmering on the surface of the Soviet landscape these dots of
strategic information listed under randomly changing numbers could be
traced only by gossips or sometimes after a telephone call.