Russian and World NewsCommunards and communal flats
75 years ago, on March, 13th, 1928, Sovnarkom has published the decision about an order of self-consolidation of inhabitants of the big city apartments. Their owners not to pay huge money for surpluses of a living space, could register at itself relatives and acquaintances. But business was not limited to it - further consolidation was carried out directive and by means of absolutely extraneous citizens. So in the grotesque form the idea of city communes was realised. The people who have grown old in communal flats, generally speak about them on - kind, despite all household inconvenience of this habitation. Probably, to it has really carried - they have been relieved of loneliness to which life in a city is pretty often interfaced.
Palaces - to workers!
Big cities of pre-revolutionary Russia were erected not as industrial centres - in building prevailed public buildings, private residences and rather comfortable profitable houses where in demountable rooms and apartments there lived employees, dealers and servants. When as a result of industrialisation of the end of a XIX-th century in cities there were many workplaces, the local population has replenished with natives of villages who went there on earnings or moved for ever. However in respectable central areas of newly made proletarians was a little: they lodged in hostels or in factory settlements on suburb. In the centre they had nothing to do: the habitation here cost much, and, the main thing, was far from it to a work place - the public transport was absent.
revolution has led to global repartition of available housing. It was supposed that proletarians should live now in conditions, worthy the won class. Bolsheviks have cancelled a private property on habitation and have started to distribute it at own discretion. First of all owners of rich apartments were offered to move and start up to themselves additional tenants, and “ rich “ only those apartments where on one person it was necessary more than one room originally were considered.
however the won class at all did not thirst to occupy new habitation: work on - former not to reach, huge rooms not to heat, and simply to fall asleep indoors with five-metre ceilings to the people who have got used to perfect to other inhabited volume, it was sophisticated. Those proletarians who all - taki moved in the big centre apartments, as a rule, preferred the former rooms for servants: such living space was more habitual and did not confuse reason with a stucco moulding on a ceiling.
owners of apartments subject to consolidation chose smaller from harms and registered to itself relatives and acquaintances. So there was a first variant of communal flats - as rescue means “ were “ from invasion of undesirable inhabitants.
if earlier everyone had that habitation for which was able pay now at floor space allocation any other criterion was required. And it has soon been found: the necessary size of habitation began to be calculated on a science - there was a concept of physiological requirement of a floor space. According to let out in 1919 Narkomzdravom of the instruction, this norm made 18 square arshin (about 9 square metres) on the person.
the utopian life
At first seemed that settling by workers of bourgeois apartments is a part of building of a new life. Joint development of one inhabited space by them quite corresponded to idea of houses - communes of which fighters for national happiness dreamt since Robert Owen. Theorists kommunalizatsii a life understood that in general - that houses - communes should be built from zero - apartments were too bourgeois, too focused on a family life, and after all the family institute was liable to destruction already in the near future.
the lay-out of the ideal house - communes assumed that the society - out of door is engaged in a life, education of children and rest of tenants. Life of Communards submits to regulations and is under constant public control. This control does not give to the person of possibility to conduct so condemned then a double life (“ one person at factory, in establishment with communistic phrases in language, other person, the person trite obyvatelshchiny, - houses, in a family, in a life “) . It was declared that the house - the commune will relieve the woman of a slave labour and becomes school of a collective life. In it there should not be separate kitchens - all eat in the general dining room. Also in the house there should be a laundry, a hall for general meetings and other conveniences. It is curious that manifestos on future habitation in many respects remind modern advertising texts about elite housing estates with their aquaparks, fitness - the centres and consumer services.
the collective life was in every possible way propagandised. Magazine “ the Spark “ for example, which regularly told about horrors of capitalism, has placed a note “ the Collectivism in the West “ with the following information: “ While we aspire to reconstruct all our life on - new, to liberate ourselves from any unproductive work, creating public kitchens, laundries and etc., in Europe do just the return. In a hostel for bachelors in Munich... Instead of public kitchen separate plates on which each inhabitant of a hostel makes to itself an own dinner " are arranged;.
Ideology ideology, but neither financial, nor technical possibilities to provide with habitation of hundred thousand new townspeople were not. To show an idea realizability, have constructed some houses - communes, however to live in apartments where the kitchen is not provided by the project, it was inconvenient even to unpretentious townspeople 20 - h years of the last century. And multiroom apartments of respectable areas became time replacement of municipal palaces.
from constructivism to classicism
In practice municipal life managed to be adjusted only to those small communities which were rallied by religious, political or economic idea. In 20 - e years of such communes - from anarchist to of Tolstoi - existed much. However kommunizirovat a life of all country it was unreal. Created under the initiative from above communes appeared impractical: people simply did not understand, what for to watch cleanliness in places of the general using and to observe hostel rules. From places disturbing signals arrived - the working class suggested to build houses from two - and three-room apartments with a bathroom and kitchen.
declared change of philosophy of habitation was showed in change of an architectural fashion. The idea of the house - communes ideally was answered with constructivist style with its underlined functionality and asceticism. In 1937 - 1938 when I and II All-Union congresses of architects have given installation on building of separate apartments, on change to constructivism Stalin classicism has come. There was also a new standard of the Soviet elite habitation: with separate kitchen, bathing, kladovkoj and a room for servants.
Certainly, the new habitation on all did not suffice, and the overwhelming majority of urban population mastered instructions for use of a municipal lavatory before which door in rush hours long turns were built.
as to separate apartments they became a sign on the highest arrangement. Them gave stahanovtsam, to large officials and especially valuable experts. Individual life behind doors of own apartment was the privilege which was given for merits before the state. The new elite very much tried to imitate the old: the house comfort, expensive things and good form rules have appeared again claimed.
management on Bulgakov
Irrespective of ideology stay in one apartment of several families was caused by an economic reality. The housing crisis was extremely sharp: Hunger 20 - h years, the industrialisation which has led to increase of number of workplaces, and then and collectivisation in which result country work for many has lost meaning, have led to sharp growth of urban population - it has practically doubled. To a living space became any more much more.
the Scheme of transformation of usual apartment in municipal was idle time: the commission came and informed that here there are surpluses of the area on which it is necessary to place additional tenants. However the epoch podselenija and consolidations by revolutionary methods proceeded not especially long. In the power NEW ECONOMIC POLICY have preferred to return to the scheme of private possession: the available housing was transferred in individual rent and the lifelong property both to the former owners, and bought apartments from the auctions. Thus owners occupied one - two rooms, and the others handed over, and the basic part of the rent (its size depended on to what social stratum the tenant belonged) went not it, and to the state.
the Private habitation was much better on quality, than state (then it named municipal). To adjust life in the last it was so difficult, what even the attention to the question on refusal of this pattern of ownership was brought. In state, that is, according to tenants, the neutral house it was necessary to watch all to one person - to the managing director. For example, its functions included settlement of the conflicts connected with malicious infringement of sequence at using by a bathroom. Floor space redistribution indoors was a separate headache of the managing director. The situation in which there was a house manager in case of room clearing, is perfectly described by Bulgakov: “ With seven o`clock in the morning to Barefooted have begun... To be with statements in which claims for a living space of the dead contained... In them, threats, slanders, denunciations, promises to make repair into the account, instructions on intolerable narrowness and impossibility to live entreaties consisted in one apartment with gangsters. Among other there was a description of abduction of the pelmeni laid directly in a pocket of a jacket shaking on the artistry... Two promises to commit suicide and one recognition in secret pregnancy “.
Meanwhile the NEW ECONOMIC POLICY gradually died, and “ preservation of capitalist elements “ in housing sector caused the increasing irritation. In 1926 - 1928 in the country discussion about that has begun, how much private kvartirovladenie is compatible to ideas of Marxism-Leninism. Since 1929 all released premises began to be occupied by a house management, owners of habitation have lost almost all rights, and their apartments one for another arrived in the state property.
the Classical multiroom communal flat in the house of pre-revolutionary construction has lived till our time. As a result of long evolution this variant of a human hostel has got many lines of the present communes, and the main thing, the new human social kind which will be logical for designating as homo communalicus was generated.
In life homo communalicus there can not be nothing such about what neighbours do not know. Its clothes, including underwear, dry after washing on tense under a ceiling of a common kitchen ropes. The room community is perfectly informed on life of any member - up to features of work of its intestines. In general, homo communalicus perceives neighbours almost as members of a family. Before them it is possible to appear untidy, in an old dressing gown, in training trousers full of holes and a stale vest. The essential part of cosmetic and hygienic procedures is made at their presence as to be locked in a bathroom for a long time it is impossible. Such intimate business as hair-dyeing, can turn to collective action. And about at whom that for a dinner, it is possible to learn on a smell, without leaving the room. However, here there are pluses: if the tenant of a communal flat prepares a celebratory entertainment - we will tell, bakes pies unwritten rules demand that he has treated with them neighbours. Homo communalicus it is always included in life of society and does not represent itself out of constant dialogue. On supervision of sociologists, in a communal flat very seldom there are novels, not to mention marriages. And it is not surprising: in such intraroom communications there is something from an incest.
it is characteristic that a denunciation in system of municipal relations do not carry to something immoral. The sin not to complain of the neighbour where follows - for example, to knock energetikam that the refrigerator is connected bypassing the electric metre. At any stage of our history similar informing in every possible way was encouraged with the state, in due course it became habitual and has not disappeared, even when the authorities have ceased to stand up for general vigilance.
for example, widespread enough phenomenon - interception and peeping. However the neighbour`s love to another`s secrets can be traded on. Enough, for example, to mention, speaking by phone in the general corridor, that you soon will become the director that the father at you - the general, and the mistress - the movie star, and next day all apartment will look at you yours faithfully. People always trust the data received in the informal way.
subjects of the general using, as a rule, cause feeling of fastidiousness, therefore homo communalicus tries to be protected from a public dirt by individual means. In a lavatory it will use own toilet seat which, having finished procedure, will hang up on the nail hammered into a wall. With the same purpose before ware washing in the general bowl there it is put tazik. Besides, municipal inhabitants prefer to take a shower, instead of a bath. It is possible to plunge into a bath only after the big cleaning when it have just washed up. As the toilet and a bathroom - the general, demand norm of municipal life, that they were used strictly for the designated purpose. Reading in a lavatory, to put it mildly, is not welcomed.
the inhabitant of a communal flat watches cleanliness in apartment - it is demanded by a rule hand-written and unwritten, however remains absolutely indifferent to a dirt on a ladder platform. Even the most irreconcilable fighters with pets living at neighbours feed up cats living in an entrance, being reconciled with characteristic aromas. The room community concerns support of homeless dumb animals approvingly, and the smell at an entrance homo communalicus perceives as invincible harm.
the Basic principle of life of a classical communal flat - a social justice rule. Here all is regulated and painted. Each tenant arranges the big washing according to the special schedule. It is considered that to use a bathroom those who spends all the day long on work have the right of priority. If you sit in apartment all the day should not occupy in rush hour a bathroom it it is indecent. In the majority of apartments on a wall the schedule specifying, who and when cleans places of the general using hangs. Nearby quite often hang up indications of the electric metre and calculations of the sums which each room pays for utilities.
the electric power homo communalicus concerns with special attention, it is possible even to tell - quiveringly. At the time of blossoming of communal flats the electricity cost not much also payment of invoices was not too burdensome. And nevertheless from - for not switched off light in a toilet there were so serious conflicts that some tenants preferred to establish there own bulb - the switch was in a room and consequently was inaccessible to neighbours. The room public could to demand, for example, that to whom visitors often go, paid for light more: after all the call on an entrance door too spends the electric power.
similar methods of an establishment of municipal justice have lived practically till present time. So, the apartment can increase a payment for phone to the one who lives in the distant end of a corridor as all call him to the device, and it - anybody. Besides, it is a question of copecks, however the main thing - to observe a principle, and money here - the unique and universal tool.
however, payment kommunalnyh services is too some kind of the privilege, and it is given by not all. The semilawful tenant who has appeared in someone`s room (as the groom, the bride or the distant relative), at calculation of utility bills do not consider. The room community does not wish to accept in the numbers of a new member: inclusion of the person in system of the general duties means that it is recognised by the full tenant.
a museum - apartment
the Classical communal flat leaves in the past and, as well as any past, becomes a subject of nostalgic memoirs. Not casually in Petersburg where communal flats 10 times more, than in Moscow, homo communalicus ethnographers were engaged in life studying, and on the Internet even there was a virtual museum kommunalka. spb. ru.
Interest to a communal flat is not casual: private life of several generations has passed in these walls. It is necessary to tell that the Bolshevist idea of the house - communes has revived in 70 - 80 - h years when the hippie and other outcasts lived in the emergency and partially moved houses, informal exhibitions and concerts were organised. Certainly, such municipal underground could not receive a wide circulation, but in formation of style of an epoch has played a weighty part.
the modern communal flat promptly loses the traditions. Empty rooms become a sign of disintegration of municipal paradise. Earlier in struggle for the released area tenants were ready peregryzt each other a throat, now, being afraid to lose a place in turn on apartment, people prefer a free premise not to occupy. It quickly turns to a public pantry where old things, magazines, boxes and dusty 3-litre jars for conservation which anybody and never any more will not use accumulate. Enterprising guides drive here the foreigners, wishing to familiarise with the present Russian life, - where still such will see?
Besides, the municipal habitation representing though any value owing to the territorial arrangement, generally already that is not. Communal flats settle, and they find at last the uniform owner - the pragmatist to whom the communistic romanticism in its any displays is alien.
By article preparation E.Gerasimovoj, I.Utehina`s materials and a virtual museum " are used; the Communal flat “ (http:// www. kommunalka. spb. ru).