[Photograph by Haluk Sargın: “The Nature of Alanya, 2015”]
Collective amnesia is a creative inquiry into one aspect of “public sphere”, and paradoxically, it finds its critical interpretation in an era that principally anticipates “modernism and urban development”, i.e., the contemporary metropolis. According to Simmel, the atomized public sphere in today’s metropolis produces self-sustaining individuals and thus defines a crucial idiosyncrasy between the elements of “us and other”, “here and there”, or “in and out” by which each of these pairs valorizes subjective time and places, and individualistic consciousness: a personal yet fragile spatio-temporality. Not remembering the events through authentic experiences, the individual can now only be stimulated in indirect ways such as commemorative and festive occasions constructed beyond his/her resoluteness and political sentience. Today, metropolis becomes an interface for the recollection of independent events, a variety of rituals, and ceremonial acts performed by heroic social actors in an apparent yet illusionary vacuum through which public sphere and thus collective memory dissolve in the thin air of ephemeral spaces, and in turn, yield to collective amnesia. There is hardly a better example of this process of atomization and the loss of public sphere than the metropolis itself: For some, Metropolis, in the end, consumed the two thousand years of dialectic
between urban settlements and their natural surroundings in favor of growth, speed, event, and intense chemical stimulant.
For further reading the text, please click the link:
*This is a revised article published in Nature as Space: (re)Understanding Nature and Natural Environments, (Edt) Güven Arif Sargın, METU Faculty of Architecture Press: Ankara, 2003