Culver City's Wende Museum Offers New On-line Exhibit, "Living in a Socialist City"

The Wende Museum in Culver City is offering what it calls a "virtual exhibition," entitled Living in a Socialist City, now online at the Museum's website. This exhibition explores the strategies used to communicate socialist ideas across media and public spaces as well as the citizen responses. Says the opening of the exhibit:

The socialist city is an ideal. Urban planners created various designs for such cities to translate the political concept of a socialist state into everyday life. Their designs expressed the desire to shape a new future in older, existing cities, such as Leipzig and Berlin, and in new ones...

Part of the exhibit, for example, examines how socialist governments thought about and utilized public spaces:

The public spaces in the socialist city served to mobilize, educate and instill in its citizens a socialist consciousness. Urban planners thus designed streets, squares and parks to accommodate large, state-organized mass gatherings such as demonstrations and parades. According to the authorized city planning guidelines in the GDR, open areas were supposed to constitute centers of political life and to increase participation in state-directed activities. Numerous works of art were integrated into public spaces to emphasize their educational function.

The Culver City-based museum will soon be moving from its current location in an industrial park off of Slauson Ave. east of the Holy Cross Cemetery to the Armory in Veteran's Park. 

The online exhibition, unlike a real show within brick and mortar walls, is intended to grow and to be continually reworked and expanded on the basis of its viewers' comments, stories, and material contributions. 

The museum's current site:

And the future site, The Armory in Veteran's Park:

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