Fall 2019 Mellon Forum on the Urban Environment: Narrative
The history of trauma resides in each of us — as citizens, we are marked by the history of our countries at (perpetual) war, both present and past. Cities, like individuals, bear witness to the psychological, physical, and affective consequences of individual and collective trauma. This session explores the attempts to remember, forget, or mark the landscape with our histories of trauma, moral injury, and losses. What is public versus private space/grieving? What is the ethics of memory and forgetting, the tension between memorialization and progress? How do we think about the ethics of monumentality in an increasing global practice of memorialization, even as atrocity continues to haunt our everyday?
Esra Akcan is associate professor of architecture and director of the Institute for European Studies at Cornell University. Her research and teaching comprise a geopolitically conscious global history of urbanism and architecture. She is the author of Landfill Istanbul: Twelve Scenarios for a Global City (124/3, 2004); Architecture in Translation: Germany, Turkey and the Modern House (Duke University Press, 2012); Turkey: Modern Architectures in History (with S. Bozdoğan, Reaktion/University of Chicago Press, 2012); and Open Architecture: Migration, Citizenship and the Urban Renewal of Berlin-Kreuzberg by IBA-1984/87 (Birkhäuser-De Gruyter, 2018).
Akcan has received numerous awards and has authored more than 100 articles on the intertwined histories of Europe and West Asia, critical and postcolonial theory, architectural photography, migration and diasporas, translation, and contemporary architecture. These works offer new ways to understand the global movement of architecture and advocate a commitment to new ethics of hospitality and global justice. Akcan has also participated in exhibitions by carrying her practice beyond writing to visual media.
Valentina Rozas-Krause is interested in the history of architecture and urbanism, memorials and monuments, cultural memory, theories of urban design and planning, landscape design and cultural geography. Her dissertation research focuses on the representation of memories of twentieth century traumas in public urban space in Argentina, Germany and the United States. She studies monuments on two levels: as an emerging global practice of memorialization and as places for everyday life.
Rozas-Krause is a sixth-year Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley. She is an architect with a masters degree in urban planning from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, and founder of Memopolis. In 2008, she was awarded first place in a public competition to design “Memorial Patio 29” which was inaugurated in 2010. Her project to transform Chile’s National Stadium into a public park, designed with Teodoro Fernandez Architects, was awarded with the first place in Parque de la Ciudadanía competition (2011).