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“Civilizing the city center”: Symbolic spaces and narratives of the nation in Yerevan's post-Soviet landscape

  • Diana K. Ter-Ghazaryan (a1)

In the years since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the landscape of Armenia's capital has transformed tremendously. Promoting a new vision for the city, Armenia's political elites have imbued the urban landscape of Yerevan with narratives of modernization, progress and a renewed sense of nationalism. While this new vision is noticeable throughout Yerevan's landscape, it is most apparent in three places in the center of Yerevan - Opera Square, Northern Avenue and Republic Square. These three prominent places represent the vision that the Armenian elites have for the city of Yerevan, while at the same time serving as backdrops for the expression of a critical voice regarding the changing urban landscape from the local residents. These three places are compelling representations of the tensions and struggles that are present in contemporary Armenian society. In this article, I examine the symbols and narratives that Armenia's elites produce and promote in and via these places, and consider the complicated set of reactions from residents that have formed in response.

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Nationalities Papers
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  • EISSN: 1465-3923
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