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Memoria e Ricerca

Utopias of Nationhood: Great Exhibitions in East Central Europe, 1891-1929

di Andrea R. Hofmann
in Memoria e Ricerca n.s. 17 (2004), p. 233

At the turn of the century, the multinational empires of East Central Europe – Russia, Prussia, and the Habsburg Monarchy – employed great exhibitions to represent their unchallenged claims for power. At the same time, nations willing to free themselves of that rule were sometimes able to inscribe their programmes of national liberation cryptically into regional exhibitions. During the interwar period, the now independent nations presented their achievements at national exhibitions. These were organized either with respect to the national minorities living within the frontiers of the new states, or they marginalized these minorities and conveyed utopian notions of national homogeneity. The article examines four exhibitions (Prague 1891, Poznan´ 1911, Brno 1928, and Poznan´ 1929), thus exemplifying varying exhibition policies und politics in East Central Europe.