Becoming Euro-Mediterranean: Reframing Urban Space and Identity in Southern France
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CitationCartelli, Philip. 2016. Becoming Euro-Mediterranean: Reframing Urban Space and Identity in Southern France. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.
AbstractThis dissertation analyzes how changes in infrastructure interact with cultural programming and rhetoric in a multi-faceted urban redevelopment project by examining social interactions, physical construction, and symbolic productions. Once part of Marseille’s port, the J4 Esplanade was bequeathed to the city as a barren swath of concrete and stone in the 1990s and has since been used by working-class and other Marseillais, many of whom hail from other nations, for recreation and socializing, with many of its regular users’ activities oriented towards the sea. A redesigned public space opened in 2013, anchored by two institutions, the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations (MuCEM), and the Villa Méditerranée, a structure dedicated to cross-cultural dialogues. From 2010 to 2014, I have tracked the J4’s transformation from a non-purposed common space to one that maintains public access and use, but that in the process has reconceived which publics are welcome, when, and how. I consider the particular stakes when a transitional urban space’s end product occludes preexisting categories of spatial use while purporting to preserve them in coded discourses of cultural valorization, in this case through the term “Mediterranean.” The recent widespread use of this label on the J4 and in Marseille entails seemingly paradoxical processes that simultaneously open and close, celebrate and confine, construct and eject under the banner of Mediterranean socio-cultural unity.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:33493604
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