Rethinking cultural heritage conservation: evaluation of the treatments of former prison sites /

Acar, Melih Emre
The prevailing mindset of heritage practice which was originated in the early 20th century, is so associated with the ‘thing’ that causes incompetence in responding to cultural and social demands of heritage conservation. Therefore, this thesis examines the treatments of former prison sites with the aim of revealing contemporary agents of cultural heritage conservation that are utilized to sustain and, indeed, to nurture intangible features of heritages. The discourse that is constructed around the abandoned prison sites are perceived as a constructive repository since the conservation of old prison sites inherently embodies fundamental questions about the commemorative, political, social and economic features of heritage due to the compelling and idiosyncratic nature of prisons. The study begins with a detailed undertaking of the statement that cultural heritage belongs to a ‘present’ and thus, all of the ruling conservation axioms have been emanated from certain former presents not the artifact per se. In the light of this discussion, the conventional and contemporary notions of heritage are studied to evidence that heritage is temporal and open to alteration. Later, the motivations lying behind the visiting dark memories are determined and, with regard to the reactions against carceral identity of place, the treatments of decommissioned prison sites, particularly focusing on politically significant prisons, are examined. In the end, values, problems and potentials of prison heritages and the operative instruments of conservation processes are listed to constitute a constructive base for process-based conservation approaches.


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Citation Formats
M. E. Acar, “Rethinking cultural heritage conservation: evaluation of the treatments of former prison sites /,” M.Arch. - Master of Architecture, Middle East Technical University, 2017.