Panel Project Narrative

The Panel Story project aims at recollecting and preserving knowledge about the life of a community of inhabitants of three prefabricated apartment blocks (paneláky) at the U Opavice street on the outskirts of a medium-sized Czech city of Opava. I myself was born and raised there.

The neighborhood consists of three eight-story apartment blocks, built in the mid 1960s for the Housing Cooperative of the Employees of Minerva in Opava. As the name of the coop indicates, employees of the Minerva plant (a local producer of industrial valves) were the primary intended occupants. Some surplus flats were allocated also to the employees of another local industrial engineering plant called Ostroj. Eventually, the U Opavice 2-4 paneláky residents consisted of people of a variety of professions, including coal miners and teachers, as well as manual and technical workers employed in the above mentioned two plants.

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Photograph by Jindrich Štreit.