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Gabriela Brindis Alvarez

on 29 September 2013

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Transcript of defense

Memory and Imagination:
play into the different uses, constructions, and representations of space Fragments of visible absences and invisible presences: Memorializing and appropriating Tlatelolco's urban and social space

Gabriela Brindis Alvarez
Kent State University How can we try to understand the construction of social and physical spaces in a place that has been greatly impacted by trauma and transformed from different angles throughout the years?

How can space be approached when tragic events have happened on the site? Fragments Thresholds Ghosts Heterotopias To analyze the OFFICIAL and UNOFFICIAL memory of Tlatelolco memories and stories that helps us interact within the city

found objects and spaces

by listening or walking and experiencing different spaces connect while separate and separate while connect

material and mental

perforate boundaries and construct a porous space

the in between

(Agamben 2004; Stavrides 2007, 2010) "Places where differences meet" (Stavrides 2007).

The emergence of a new order that can contain moments of rupture in social and spatial history.

Present and absent in different times.

A reality and a potentiality. Trapped representations

The presence of absences in haunted spaces.

Found through urban explorations.

Invisible presences.

Real and imagined, personal and emotive.

May haunt us if open and available. appropriated and
negotiated The Government Cultual Institution Local Groups
material permanence: bridges, alleys, doorframes, squares

temporal and symbolic:
ephemeral appropriation of space, discontinuities or traumatic events historical: in different time and different spaces From Utopia to Dystopia, the creation of heterotopias through thesholds. Wounded City of Thresholds: Tlatelolco Focusing on one threshold, that has produced a series of heterotopias.

The official memorialization of October 2, 1968. Engraving Fixed Memory: The Killing of 1968 How is space experienced in daily life, from the people that live and use that place. Unnoficial Memories how do I relate? wounded fractured spaces, "complex interface between bodies, memory, social groups and the lived city , and affect" (Till 2012). Discussion Conclusion 1960 1990's 1968 1985 2007 2011 Thresholds, wounds and stories make up the urban space in a city in constant change.

Tlatelolco embodies the state's values, practices and contradictions.

Changes (physical and social) can be visible but subtle and invisible at times. "understand the complex spatialities and temporalities of the lived city" (Till 2012, 4) (Lefebvre 2008[1974], and Foucault (1993) (Edensor 2005, Gordon 2008) Lieux de mémoire (Nora 1989)
Individual and social memory (Halbwachs 1994[1925], 1997; Till 2006) wounded cities: "harmed and structured by particular histories of physical destruction, displacement, and individual and social trauma resulting from state-perpetrated violence..." (Till 2012). displacement traumatic violent events material destruction abandonment intention to heal "October 2: We will Never Forget"

hidding and unveiling stories and documentation: official memorialization sites, cases to court, institutionalization of a national date

Goes beyond Tlatelolco porous boundaries Official Placard 1993. Institutionalization of "Truth": Open Archives, Courts and National Mourning Day in 2011 Memorial '68 in 2007 Politics of
Memory Committee 68 University Cultural Center in Tlatelolco Government Fixed Memory Constant struggle for the "truth".

Symbolic accretion.

Space -> collective memory.

Constant debate of democracy. accidental monuments "Living in Tlatelolco" "Migrant Memory" urban explorations unmark sites personal and individual memory Thresholds and Heterotopias Past and present interwined and create new mazes made of fragments and stories.

Fragmented individual, collective, historical and concrete memories.

Unconformity, injustices and traumas still present. L. in T. and M.M. in search of remembrances (Benjamin in Herzog 2000) "a voluntary focus on the traces of history [...] Remembrance does not transform the repressed into non-repressed, or 'commemorate' the repressed as the victorious part of history [...] Remembrance shows the repressed - the defeated and the dead - as absence in collective memory. It deciphers the traces of history as if they were symbols, symptoms of the holes of history - holes of memory; it shows these holes as holes" (Herzog 2000, 16).

Where stories can "save the world" creating a "political effect" (Herzog 2000, 17, referring to the ideas of H. Arendt) Walking, listening and talking made me aware of a series of heterotopias and haunted spaces that connect while disconnect through physical and historical thresholds in Tlatelolco's wounded space. 1 2 3 Nostalgia Suspense and Role Reversal (Augé 1998) Counting and Naming remembering and forgetting : life and death

the past is relived, a "lost past", a rebeginning

a sense of belonging and familiarity

a contradiction: enjoy the present through the past and simultaneosly the past through the present L. in T. and M. M.: spaces of a lost past, an abscence, a lost relationship, that it is continuously returned to to enjoy it, acknolwedge its failures and then re-appropriate it in the present by remembering and sometimes by re-enacting it. the fights seem to continue; there are other injustices, other protests and other deaths. Naming the dead to clean their death and dignify their identities. A humanization of the dead, a right to BE remembered. Today the phantoms of 1968 are still trapped in our imagination, they are summoned during some of the protests, they are present in the demands and claims in the public spaces and they are remembered beyond the night of October 2 in Tlatelolco. The memories and events of the past are continuously revisited, remembred and forgotten. Sometimes the look at the past is through nostalgia while other times the past is used to justify present actions. The right to remember as well as the right to be remembered (how and through what means) is a process in constant construction. Social groups emerge in the public spaces of Mexico to express their demands and repression is still today a normal response by the authorities. Meanwhile, social groups continue to emerge, reclaiming and re-appropriating a past. Conclusions Wounds go beyond Tlatelolco Tlatelolco's material and discursive public spaces. Different representations show contradictions and tensions of the past and the future, disrupt the linear narrative of history and progress. Identify how people feel haunted by the presence or absence of diverse narratives. Related to traumatic events of how and why we come to terms with it. How and why we remember them. The politics of memory is historical, it defies individuals, and we embody and represent the spaces and memories of the city. For the acknowledgment of multiple pasts, with possible futures and the creation of just cities... From Utopia to Dystopia, the creation of heterotopias through thesholds. Wounded City of Thresholds: Tlatelolco 1 Focusing on one threshold, that has produced a series of heterotopias.

The official memorialization of October 2, 1968. Engraving Fixed Memory: The Killing of 1968 2 How is space experienced in daily life, from the people that live and use that place. Unnoficial Memories 3 Atenco Ayotzinapan Morelia Mexico City Kent State University
Geography Department (Benjamin 1997[1996]; Arendt
and Benjamin in Herzog 2000).
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