Private in the City

The three stories presented in this text are dedicated to three different women united by one city. Sharing a common urban space, they experienced it in different ways, given their different social positions, status and starting opportunities. The time in which they had to live their lives was in one way or another reflected in microstories from the life of each of these women. The first story is dedicated to Maria Hrushkevych, a long-time employee of the Lviv post office, who was among the "first" women employed by the state. In the second, Maria Linchak will be talked about, who was a maid in the house of Teofil and Liudmyla Hrushkevych, a chorister at the church of St. Onufry in Lviv and the heroine of numerous domestic disputes. The third story will tell about Yevhenia Barvinska, a pianist and a choir conductor, the wife of the Ukrainian politician Oleksandr Barvinskyi and the mother of their seven children. The everyday experiences of these women were obviously different. Both Marias (Maria Hrushkevych and Maria Linchak) lived in the same house for some time, but only one of them could call this house her own while for the other it was just a place where she earned a livelihood. While the first two women were approximately the same age, Yevhenia Barvinska represented rather the generation of their parents. However, no matter how striking the differences were, there was something in common that united the women of their time — a private space as a feminine scope for action. While representatives of wealthier social classes, those coming from the families of the intelligentsia, like Yevhenia Barvinska or Maria Hrushkevych, could realize themselves in this space through a family, women from the social bottom, such as Maria Linchak, mastered this space literally, making it a profitable and comfortable place for the personal life of its owners.