[Parution] Marco Cremaschi, « Place is memory: A framework for placemaking in the case of the human rights memorials in Buenos Aires », City, Culture and Society

22 novembre 2021

Nous vous signalons la parution d’un article de Marco Cremaschi dans la revue City, Culture and Society intitulé « Place is memory: A framework for placemaking in the case of the human rights memorials in Buenos Aires« .



As a long tradition in urban studies made clear, the production of urban space is twofold: users continuously reshape what a contentious political process produces at first. The struggle around conflictual memories invests cities increasingly by marking spots or reshaping places to reconstruct or re-signify past events.

The politics of memory deploy a combination of argumentative, emotional and ordinary arguments. The intent is neither preserving nor deleting but re-writing memories. However, places interfere with the political and argumentative strategies making room for ordinary uses that question the stability of meanings, although not providing political answers to the issues of power and domination.

The paper introduces sense-making to suggest that places reinforce the social processes that build collective memories. The relationship between memory and place is not unidirectional. Briefly, a social process infuses place and this latter ‘hits back’. This statement leads to the apparent odd conclusion that, in the long term, place-making is as essential as the reframing of memory.

A few initiatives involving institutions, human rights movements and bottom-up initiatives in Buenos Aires are investigated: a clandestine detention centre, a memorial garden, an ordinary urban square, aiming at developing an analytical framework that highlights the details of the sense-making mechanism linking memories and places.



Placemaking ; Identity ; Collective memory ; Sense-making ; Human rights