The Transformation of Urban Cultural Policy in East Germany and Poland: The Cases of Leipzig and Krakow
This article analyses the transformation of cultural policies in East Germany and Poland after the end of state socialism by studying the developments in the two cities Krakow and Leipzig. As economic, infrastructural, and cultural centres, Krakow as well as Leipzig had a prominent position within the national urban system and they were representative of the principal evolution in big East German and Polish cities after 1989. The contribution studies first the personal and structural developments in the cultural realm after the radical social and political changes of 1989. Secondly it discusses the plans for the strategic reorientation of urban culture and their impact on the cities’ cultural institutions and landscape. The third part of the article focuses on the role of the state in the process of transforming urban cultural institutions.
The comparative analysis shows that the urban actors promoted culture as an economic factor in both cases and that the reorientation of urban cultural policy was linked to local traditions as well as to Western European models. Culture was seen as an instrument of integration that should bring together the society in the two cities. In addition, a new quality of transnational and international cooperation between cities in the field of culture emerged.