My work focuses on the complex social lives of monumental buildings and on the architecture and planning of Eastern European communism. I am especially interested in the powerful - and subversive - impacts that communist-era built environments continue to exert on the capitalist cities of the 21st century.
I received my PhD in social anthropology from Cambridge University in February 2014. My dissertation was about the Palace of Culture and Science, a vast Stalin-era skyscraper 'gifted' to Poland by the Soviet Union in 1955. My book on capitalist Warsaw's self-perceived 'obsession' with the Stalinist Palace, entitled Palace Complex, was published by Indiana University Press in March 2019. My Warsaw research has also resulted in several articles and book chapters, while my Polish-language book about the Palace was published by the Museum of Warsaw in July 2015.
I am the co-convener (with Denis Maksimov and Masha Mileeva) of Perverting the Power Vertical (PPV), a nomadic research and event platform based at UCL. In 2019, PPV co-curated The Palace of Ritual in Venice's Palazzo Dona Brusà. The Palace of Ritual took place on 9th-11th May, during the preview week of the 58th Venice Biennale of Art. I am also co-head of UCL's FRINGE Centre the Study of Social and Cultural Complexity.
Portrait by Olga Alexeyenko
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