Here’s a post that might sound bit boring for some of you in contrast with all the crazy travel stories or weird fieldworks notes. I apologize. It was just that some months ago one of the world’s most recognized anthropologists Marc Augé visited Tallinn, Estonia. I was excited, as contrasts between modern cityscapes and village life sincerity has always intrigued me, as well as marginal places, contested places, and even those which Marc Augé would call non-places.
But here’s the start for you:
Notes from an intensive seminar Places and Non-Places: Thinking Anthropologically with Marc Augé
Estonian Institute of Humanities and the Graduate School of Culture Studies and Arts, Tallinn University, 12th-13th October 2012
When visiting Delhi in 2010, I remember a slight cultural shock from one of the city’s recently completed subway lines. Not that I found something bleakly intrinsic to India, but on the contrary – I was intrigued by the lack of it, or by strange intersections between this ‘lacking’ and various existing or imaginary layers of culture. The new transportation system seemed to be far from what I had remembered from my earlier visit to India. In this heavily conditioned and rather silently sliding subway you could perhaps imagine to be in Singapore or Seattle. There was a Hindu dressed in a bright purple sari scanning over the London-styled subway signs, until from the announcements articulated in high-end English she recognised her own. The doors opened automatically, she drove along the escalator down to the lower floor and stepped from the white floor onto the dirty streets. Among dozens of noisy taxi drivers she waved down a rickshaw-taxi, in which she probably had to sweat for the next half hour in a traffic jam.
According to the French anthropologist Marc Augé these and other similar visible manifestations of globalization can be called “non-places” – a concept he first coined in 1992 in his “Non-Lieux, Introduction à une anthropologie de la surmodernité” (published in English in 1995).
Augé writes in his book about supermodernity as the opposite side of the coin of which post-modernity shows us only the backside: this is the affirmation of negation. He tells about major changes in our society, which are the excess of events in time and acceleration of history, overabundance of space and the individualisation of references. The direction expressed in these changes, that Augé calls supermodernity, has peaked in remarkable physical alterations, including the reproduction of such places which he calls “non-places”. He opposes this to the concept of a sociological “place”, which traditionally has been associated with space and time limited in a specific culture. If a place can be defined as relational, historical and concerned with identity, then it is a “place” – the rest would be “non-places”, such as for example highways, airports and supermarkets.
…….Read the rest at MaterialWorld blog here! please continue to catch the stalkers and the kind.