Spaces of Memory


M. Sc. Zinovia Foka, Prof. Dr. Max Welch Guerra
3 LP/2 SWS

Exploring Process of Remembering and Forgetting in Urban Public Spaces

Memory is both burden and liberation’, declares Mark Crinson (2005) in the introduction of his edited volume ‘Urban Memory’. Remembering and forgetting - one cannot exist without the other - are largely structuring our experience of contemporary urban life. Urban public spaces everywhere in the world are dominated by aspects of the past, either celebrated and repackaged for touristic consumption, or recognized and commemorated as traumatic, violent, and oppressive. Statues, memorials, plaques, rehabilitated buildings, museums and archives exist as memory containers, informing our urban experience, both as residents as well as visitors. This course will explore the contested field of urban memory through historical and contemporary examples situated in diverse cultural, political and social contexts. Departing from an understanding of urban memory as a social and spatial process, it will inquire into the ways different pasts have been selectively appropriated, vested with meanings, as well as revisited or contested. The analysis of the material will be structured in three main areas of interest: a) memory and power, b) memory and identity, c) memory and community. How have different power regimes structured national memory and pride through selective remembering and forgetting? What cultural and civic elements have been employed to foster a shared sense of identity ...