Nikolaos Olma

Nikolaos Olma

Member of:

    Creating Memoryscapes: Urban Infrastructure, Identity, and Memory in Contemporary Tashkent

    My PhD project examines the extent to which the large-scale transformation of Tashkent’s cityscape that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union has affected the city’s memoryscapes. Turning away from an object-based understanding of memory and mere representations with their visual-only stimuli, and informed by post-humanist approaches, the project looks into the ways in which memory is enacted by and/or upon human bodies in the course of their interaction with the material and semiotic aspects of urbanity, manifested in mundane everyday normative behaviour and embodied practices. These practices occur in and create “thin places,” i.e. places where the boundaries between the mundane and the extraordinary are opaque. In this sense, despite being primarily dependent on mundane aspects of urbanity that can be found in most post-socialist cities, such as socialist era housing, centralised infrastructure, and extensive urban natures, these practices are characteristic and exclusive to urban life in Tashkent. Thus, riding taxis and using the local system of orientational points know as orientiry, dealing with decaying infrastructure, and experiencing the shade and coolness offered by Tashkent’s trees are all revealed as practices that enact memory, paramount in comprehending memory dynamics and the ways in which memoryscapes are weaved together in the Central Asian metropolis.

    Research interests

    • Central Asia
    • Socialist and post-socialist cities
    • Memory studies
    • Urban anthropology
    • Mobility
    • Architecture
    • Urban Infrastructure
    • Urban Natures
    • Post-humanism

    Teaching activities

    • Socialist and Post-Socialist Cities in Central Asia, Russia, and Eastern Europe (Spring 2015 / Spring 2016)
    • Politics and Public Space in Modern Asian Cities (Fall 2015 - co-teaching w/ Rasmus Elling and Dan Hirslund)

    ID: 67558873