Geografie 2013, 118, 221-242

Spaces of alternative culture in Prague in a time of politicaleconomic changes of the city

Michaela Pixová

Charles University in Prague, Faculty of Science, Dpt. of Social Geografy and Regional Development, Albertov 6, 128 43, Prague 2, Czechia

Received August 2012
Accepted July 2013

Cultural plurality distinguishes democratic societies from totalitarian regimes. Cultures that generate low profit are nonetheless constrained by a capitalist economy, which drives them out of spaces available on the market. Some alternative cultures therefore search for spaces that transcend the socio-spatial standards and norms of mainstream society. This paper refers to Marxist urban theory and the concept of the right to the city to demonstrate that in democratic societies alternative non-profit uses of space for cultural purposes are important and create diverse, vibrant, progressive, and socially inclusive urban environments. The example of Prague shows how the changing political-economic context affects spaces that local alternative cultures use. Through observation in the contexts of socialist, post-socialist, and contemporary Prague, the paper aims to examine the inclusivity of the current regime towards cultural plurality, as well as the extent to which the current regime has abandoned the former totalitarian regime’s repressive approach towards alternative cultures.


This article was supported by the Grant Agency of the Czech Republic, project GA ČR P404/12/0648 “New socio-spatial formations: segregation in the context of post-communist transformations and globalization”.


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