CONCEPTUALIZING SPECTERS OF RUINATION, RESILIENCE AND REGENERATION
Framing urban ruination as a multi-dimensional process, this workshop seeks to address the politics and social life of loss in cities today. Remnants of slum clearing, memories of past massacres, colonial settlements, as well as gentrified spaces of renewal and heritage districts for touristic consumption are but some of the spectres that haunt contemporary cityscapes. Derived from the general antinomy of creation and destruction, these city-forms shed light on what we term “modalities of ruination”: ranging from apocalyptic dystopias to nostalgic utopias of return and redemption. Envisioning cities as both repositories of memory and material networks of social action, our workshop explores the contentious relations between revival and loss.
We invite participants with a range of comparative, interdisciplinary and innovative perspectives to rethink how ruination and recovery operate as images, events and structures. By bringing together scientists and practitioners, documentarists and artists, this workshop will facilitate critical discussions on modernity’s urge to build and destroy.
We welcome papers and creative interventions that engage with the following non-exhaustive
- When do cities, sites and traditions become ‘lost’, and how can visual and narrative forms represent the temporality and spatiality of urban ruination and recovery?
- How do artistic interventions affect and represent the temporality and spatiality of urban loss?
- How are past urban ruins made invisible or conversely commodified into presence, and how should we engage them as emblems of transgression, trauma and revival?
- Does the representation of loss call for a special kind of ethics in documenting techniques, and what should an ethic of recovery look like?
- Can representations, narratives, materialities and memories of loss create a common ground for future recovery?
- What kind of recovery mechanisms could possibly address the intangible loss of urban traditions, structures and social tissues?
The workshop is a conclusion to the research project “Cities lost and found: The social life of ruins”, funded by Gerda Henkel Foundation. It will take place at the Central European University (Vienna) on May 19-20, 2023.
Travel and accommodation expenses are available for eligible candidates.
Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words and a short bio (100 words) to [email protected] by January 15, 2023