Documenting a Contested Memory: Symbols in the changing city space of Cairo

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Resumé

This article looks at how symbols in the urban environment are intentionally produced and modified to regulate a community’s collective memory. Our urban environment is filled with symbols in the form of images, text, and structures that embody certain narratives about the past. Once those symbols are introduced into the city space they take a life span of their own in a continuous process of reproduction and reconstruction by different social actors. In the context of the city space of Cairo in the five years following the 2011 Egyptian revolution, I will look on the one side at efforts of activists to preserve the memory of the revolution through graffiti murals and the utilization of public space, and from the other, the authority’s efforts to replace those initiatives with its own official narrative. Building on the concept of collective memory, as well as Bartlett’s studies of serial reproductions and theorization of reconstructive remember- ing, I will follow the reproduction of different symbols in the city and how they were perceived and remembered by pedestrians.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftCulture & Psychology
Vol/bind23
Udgave nummer2
Sider (fra-til)234-254
ISSN1354-067X
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 2017

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Reproduction
symbol
collective memory
narrative
graffiti
social actor
life-span
public space
pedestrian
reconstruction
utilization
Pedestrians

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    abstract = "This article looks at how symbols in the urban environment are intentionally produced and modified to regulate a community’s collective memory. Our urban environment is filled with symbols in the form of images, text, and structures that embody certain narratives about the past. Once those symbols are introduced into the city space they take a life span of their own in a continuous process of reproduction and reconstruction by different social actors. In the context of the city space of Cairo in the five years following the 2011 Egyptian revolution, I will look on the one side at efforts of activists to preserve the memory of the revolution through graffiti murals and the utilization of public space, and from the other, the authority’s efforts to replace those initiatives with its own official narrative. Building on the concept of collective memory, as well as Bartlett’s studies of serial reproductions and theorization of reconstructive remember- ing, I will follow the reproduction of different symbols in the city and how they were perceived and remembered by pedestrians.",
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    Documenting a Contested Memory : Symbols in the changing city space of Cairo. / Awad, Sarah H. .

    I: Culture & Psychology, Bind 23, Nr. 2, 2017, s. 234-254.

    Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

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