Exhibitions – Retrospective
Bata Cities – Corporate Towns
Thursday, 23rd June to Wednesday, 31st August 2011
Opening on Wednesday, 22nd June 2011 at 6 pm
The Exhibition shows the legacy of an utopian city of the early 20th century. Inspired by Fordist theories, garden city principles and socialist ideals, the Czech shoe company Bata went on a mission to "shoe the world". In Zlin, Czech Republic, Bata built a first company town according to modernist architectural precepts, testing the idea of a model town that could be efficiently replicated.
These Bata cities, soon to be exported all over the world, all combined the same components: architecture, urban planning, management, social engineering and communication. The geopolitical context of colonialism as well as growing international trade and labour division encouraged the company’s expansion. Soon enough the Bata empire formed an international corporate network of 80 Bata cities as places of production as well as a modern way of life.
The exhibition introduces two Bata satellite towns, Batanagar (India) and East Tilbury (Great Britain); two places which have developed in opposite directions depending on the remaining presence or final absence of the Bata production in the city. Not only does the show give an insight into the complexities and contradictions of life in a city that has changed dramatically during the last century, it also reflects the uncertain future of these two company towns in the context of current strategies of global corporations with regards to their "urban footprints". Further information
Bauhaus building, Gropiusallee 38, 06846 Dessau-Roßlau, Germany
Entrance is free!