From the editors
CULTURE IN A "FOREIGN" SPACE: AN INTRODUCTION
TO GENIUS LOCI KALININGRAD AND KOENIGSBERG
KALININGRAD IN THE YEAR 2020 - A NOT QUITE FICTITIOUS CONVERSATION
DESTINATION - KALININGRAD
FROM KALININGRAD DICTIONARY
MAP OF THE CITY
FORMA URBIS. SYMBOLIC PARALLELS
IN OR OUT
THE RAILWAY STATION AND ENTRANCE TO THE CITY OF KALININGRAD
BINARY STATES OF "K" CITY
Eugeny Umansky, Karpenko-Karpenko
IN THE CENTER
Andrei Monastyrsky, Sabina Haensgen
EMPTY CENTER K.
FOLLOWING SILENT WORDS
FA+ (Ingrid Falk & Gustavo Aguerre)
THE MYTHICAL FOUNDATION OF KALININGRAD
PRETERITION: KNEIPHOF ISLAND
THE BRIDGES AND "THE PREGEL'S ODOR"
John Craig Freeman, Greg Ulmer
IMAGING KALININGRAD: THE SEVEN BRIGES OF KOENIGSBERG
FORGOTTEN KANT AND THE KANT-BRAND IN KOENIGSBERG
KANT'S BRIDES: A READYMADE PHOTOGRAPHIC CHRONOTOPE
THE CATHEDRAL AND KANT FOR EVERYONE, OR IS GOD FEARSOME WITHOUT MORAL
THE CASTLE OF SOVIETS
THE ROYAL CASTLE
A WHITE SEAGULL ABOVE THE CITY: THE SYMBOLS OF THE OLD NEW CITY
WRITING OF DREAMS
LIGHT UP DOM SOVETOV
THE HOUSE OF SOVIETS
THE MOST PROFOUND SECRET OF ONE KOENIGSBERG LAWYER: HOFFMANN
A LEGEND ABOUT FIVE LITTLE ULRICHEN AND FERRYMAN ANDRE
KOENIGSBERG-KALININGRAD. THE TASTE OF MARZIPAN
THE COUNTRY OF PENSIONERS - OR THE GERMANS
CONCRETE ELEMENTS OF KALININGRAD
THE UNDREAMED OF CITY
TOWN PLANNING MATHEMATICS
MOSKOVSKII PROSPECT & THE SHADOWS AROUND ALTSTADT
OUR TOWER Ivan Chechot
THE TOWER-REDAN "KRONPRINZ"
THE KRONPRINZ TOWER. Projects for the National Centre for Contemporary Arts by Students of the Institute for Theory and Design in Architecture (Braunschweig, Germany)
THE AMBER ROOM
BASTIONS IN DIAMONDS AND EMERALDS
THE HOUSE OF MACHINERY: THE RECONSTRACTION AND EXPLOITATION OF THE POPULATION
V.I.P. (Very Interesting Person)
PLACE OF EXECUTION
TRACES OF A VIRTUAL HISTORY IN A VERY REAL CITY
CHRIST THE SAVIOR CATHEDRAL
LIFE AND EGGS (A sketch about trams)
A STROLL THROUGH THE CENTER
IN THE FLOW: FOUNTAIN SEASON
WILD WEST OF RUSSIA
ANIMALS IN KALININGRAD AND A MOSAIC
KOENIGSBERG'S SPIRITUAL HERITAGE IN TONS, ITEMS AND SACKS. From the history of lost and found cultural heritage
WE ALL ARE GOING TO BE THERE
MONUMENT TO 1200 GUARDSMEN IN KALININGRAD
MATTER AND SPIRIT
FRAGMENT OF A SYMPHONY FOR SLOW READING: IVANOV AND HIS SURROUNDINGS
ATTIC OF RECOGNITION
MAN AND WOMAN
THE SMALL SCULPTURE "GIRL"
ON THE STREET
Igor Isaev, Dmitrii Demidenko
THE FIRE HYDRANT
Kalle Brolin, Kristina Muntzing
THE WATERFALL HERACLES' BOLT
V.I.P. (Very Interesting Person)
NATASHA POTERYASHINA. Inteview
TO BE IN THE MOOD FOR PACKING
Dmitrii Bulatov, Pavel Savel'ev
ACEPHALUS: OPTICAL MODELS
LIGHT THE CRYSTALS OF KALININGRAD!
THE BRIDGE THAT THE "RUSSIANS COULDN'T PULL DOWN"
THE ROAD TO BERLIN: FROM EPIC TO BANAL. Interview with Valerii Bugrov
HOAR-STONES AND BOUNDARY SYMBOLS
MUSCOVITES ARE HANGING
BEFORE THE CITY
Aleksandr Sologubov / Kaliningrad, Russia
Mysticism (lat., mysticus, mysterious ceremony, sacrament): 1) Supernaturalism, belief in divinity, mystery and people's ability to appeal to the beyond. Mysticism is an essential part of any religious belief. 2) Something mysterious, unknown, and inexplicable.
The prewar history of this land was a complex subject to the first immigrants and their descendants. There was a saying that "from Adam to Potsdam" no significant events had happened here (I am not sure who coined this phrase and when it was first used).
…The educated world knew the history of this city better than we, its present citizens. But we began to live in this city and study its ruins, extracting mysteriously charming and almost legendary objects from them - plates, sconces, tin rummers, coins and rusty weapon. … This is, so to speak, the first cultural layer of our views on the historical past of this land and its inhabitants…
It was only in 1996 that the first substantial historical work was published, an anthology written by academics from the university on "events from the history of the whole Prussia since ancient times." Certainly, works on the prewar history of this region had already been published, but they were written by amateur local historians and only a few selected historical events were mentioned. These historians had also attempted to make photographic copies of German books on Prussian history (there were no other way of duplicating this material). But there were no official studies of prewar history.
This lack of knowledge of history and natural human foibles created a demand for mystery (the same phenomenon may be seen in the case of the Polish "reclaimed lands," which were joined to the territory of Poland after the WWII: there were discoveries of secret tunnels, bunkers, giant underground hospitals, factories, concealed valuables and thousands of stories about hidden treasures). Incidentally, this passion for mystery, which gives Kaliningrad its local color, is shared by both residents and tourists alike.
…Every nation has its own epos, legends and sagas, anecdotes and bywords. We "Kaliningradian-Prussian" people do not have a lot of them, yet the ground and stones of the old city - lost among the modern blocks - are imbued with the mysteries of ancient and recent history….
…As for mysteries, there are plenty of them in Kaliningrad. You can find underground tunnels leading to Berlin, treasures buried under every building and underground factories there. These are X-Files, of course, and there are plenty of traps for the uninitiated.
…this find, discovered by teenagers, is being discussed by the entire city. It has been suggested that they have located "Zimmerman's flying object."
…Prisoners built extensively in Konigsberg (Kaliningrad) and Pilau (Baltiisk)…. But the main part of a massive secret passage and construction network was destroyed and flooded… Below ground Baltiisk and Kaliningrad are a in fact a single whole ….it was possible to reach Svetlogorsk, where the local fascist elite spent their holidays… archeological digs are not an easy task, but they are worthwhile.
There is some rational and tangible "replenishment" of these ideas, which still feed many amateur archeologists.
It is possible to use mysticism as a rhetorical device:
…Writing "Kaliningrad" in Latin letters mysteriously clears this name from Satan's smile …
But true mysticism appears in the enraged statements of those who are unable to avoid spouting drivel in their passionate speeches:
…Since its foundation, Konigsberg has been considered a city of unique mysteries and paradoxes. It owes much to divine intent in regards to its location…
…there is proof that in 1941 the Prime Minister of Great Britain was given a report which stated that Konigsberg's black magicians were working with his wax figurine. This explains the vehement hatred of the British towards this city and the deployment of napalm bombs against it in August 1944…
…There is one more almost mystical thing. To build a house on the former site of a cemetery, one has to be brave. Even if the ghosts have been frightened away the energy of the place remains. They say that in the nine-storey apartment house standing at the intersection of Sommer Street and Ivannikova Street, where the Traghime Church was located until its destruction in the 1970s, the death rate is far higher than in the neighboring buildings. The poor fellows whose flats are located near the former site of the altar very often fall sick and die suddenly. Does the past take revenge? You may not believe this yourself, but you couldn't pay me to take a flat in such a "bad place." I wouldn't dare.
Translation by L. Shevchenko