Space, Politics and History: Reimagining post-Soviet Ulaanbaatar

October 29, 2015 - 2:00pm to 3:30pm
Chavez 308

Orhon Myadar is Assistant Professor of Geography at the University of Arizona. Her research interests lie within the intersection of politics and geography. She has written in the areas of post-colonial studies, nationalism and political identity.

Title: Space, Politics and History: Reimagining post-Soviet Ulaanbaatar


Ulaanbaatar, the capital city of Mongolia, has seen profound changes in the post-socialist years. The city space has been used as canvas upon which shifting state ideologies are continuously inscribed. The state’s ideological shift is easily “readable” throughout the cityscape of Ulaanbaatar, including the central square which has been recently renamed Chinggis Khaan’s Square. As evidenced by this change, Chinggis Khaan has been used as the most prominent marker of Mongolia’s new identity and has been rampantly appropriated to articulate the new post-socialist identity. This project examines the visual articulation of the state through an analysis of the city’s symbolic landscape and iconography.  It also illustrates that the past is both "remembered” and “forgotten" and the state is instrumental in projecting which versions of history are invoked or which are silenced at any given period.