Studies on St. Petersburg monuments: mapping historical memory

Department of international development and partnership, ITMO University (Russia)

The issues of contested memory and the coexistence of different perspectives on history became visible in the modern world. The process of reviewing the past targeted and opened up issues people still cannot agree on. Besides, it inevitably touched physical representations of memory, for example, memorials and monuments. Now we see several cases of such conflicts: Soviet monuments in Baltic countries, Confederate monuments in the United States, etc.

It is important to consider the visual representation of memory for two major reasons: influence on society and potentially incorrect message of the memorial. Memorial shows that the message it contains is important and needs to be remembered. It inevitably clashes with any attempt to review the past by the society and to question the origin of the message.

The research is dedicated to the problem of mixed memories in single urban space on the example of St. Petersburg. The city has an extremely rich history, which is now represented and fixed in monuments, buildings and other community spaces. Looking at the examples of Western memorial conflicts and how easily they are escalating, it is important to study the memorial map of the city and find a way to explain the memorial background to the society.

The idea is to show a full picture, meaning all the represented memorial layers to the audience and to go in-depth into explanation of multiple historical details to prevent miscommunication in the society. The potential provider urban landscape memorial analysis is a digital visualisation of sites of memory meaning in the city. The aim is to combine historical, cultural and urban data and through information technologies to present memorial heritage data of the monuments of St. Petersburg. This way it is possible to systematise memorial data and provide access to it through interactive visualisation.