Sunday, 10 June 2012

Abandoned places...spaces or places?

Geographers quite rightly tend to be obsessed with the concept of place and space. I stumbled across a series of interesting images and the following question arose - when places become defunct* are they still places per se or  over time do they lose their human attachment and just return to ordinary spaces/landscapes? Do landscapes have a social or even historical memory and how long can this last before e.g. do humans always have to inhabit places for them to be called a place?

*due to a natural or disaster, quasi natural disaster or simply that it becomes abandoned due to an industry shutting down.


American ruins

Pictured: Ashley, Pennsylvania
The Huber Coal Breaker, built in 1938. “Other coal breakers have been demolished,” Yves Marchand says. “It really is the last of its kind.” All those windows were there to let in as much natural light as possible. Today they are target practice for stone-throwers


American ruins

Pictured: Port Richmond, Pennsylvania A generator stands like a sculpture. In its day it was one of the most powerful in the world. It was housed, Meffre says, in a room “built to look like the main hall of a grand city station”

Robert Polidori's photographs of Pripyat and Chernobyl. 
Robert Polidori's photographs of Pripyat and Chernobyl. 




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