stories of life from the uranium town in pécs and the karl-marx-allee in berlin

03. April 2008. – 21. April
MegnyitóOpening: April 2, 2008, 6:00 pm
MegnyitjaRemarks by: Mélyi József
collective project of the b-wohner team from berlin, department of communication and media studies of the university of pécs and the cultural manager program of the robert-bosch-foundation. photographs of linda tirri

the „stalinallee” – the stalin avenue as a representative avenue was a huge prestige-project of the socialist east-berlin. along the karl-marx-allee as known today there are 14 really tricksy buildings. they emerged on the world war ruins of the labourers’ quarter „friedrichshain” at the beginning of the 1950’s. almost the 70% of the buildings got terminated there and the hunger for dwellings was great. the flats of the stalin avenue offered civic comfort to ordinary people, a comfort they never could have afforded by themselves. glazed tiled bathroom, parquet-floored rooms, central heating, rubbish-sink, elevator – far higher standard than the average apartment-barracks. precious materials, rich ornaments flourished on these dwelling palaces – in accordance with the etalons in moscow. the glazed facades of meissen ceramics enhanced the playful effect of the classicist architecture: the houses are like fancy cakes, just as if they were created by some masters of confectioneries.

a few years later in pécs there started the construction of a new district according to socialist paragons. it got the name „újmecsekalja” which has been changed to uranium town as known up till today. the name derived from the uranium-mine opened to soviet initials, which started to build up dwellings in 1955, and later the appropriate infrastructure, for the thousands of labourers crowding from different parts of the country. from 1960 the introduction of block-building-technique lead to the construction of a huge district of the town, which offered dwellings not only for the employees of the uranium-mine. during the general shortage in housing many other families got home here and could enjoy the comfort of these modern, bright and easily heated dwellings. yet, until the closing of the uranium-mine the mining company remained the most important institute of the district offering not only work and dwellings to its employees but trainings and leisure-time programs also.

the exhibition based on the interviews with the first inhabitants of the housing estates in pécs and berlin is trying to present the inhabitants themselves, their experiences and ways of life along with photographs. this way it allows a very intimate look into the history of the two districts whose checkered past is still unfamiliar to wide public.