The intangible within tangible: Conservation of architectural heritage as a locus of memory, the case of Ankara Ulucanlar prison

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2021-12-10
Kutlu, Zeynep
Focusing on the intangible dimension of built heritage, this thesis derives from the question of how to preserve and transmit memory in the conservation processes of heritage sites. An investigation into this question gains a particular gravity in heritage places signified with their memorial values rather than physical peculiarities, a.k.a. ‘sites of memory’. Sites of memory also encompass ‘sites of conscience’, the ‘difficult heritage’ places associated with traumatic memories. Both are relatively recent categories of heritage that have been the subject of interest since the turn of the 21st century. This study primarily conducts a theoretical inquiry into memory in and of itself and then its association with place and architectural heritage. Based on this theoretical inquiry, it presents a framework, which defines analysis methods to be followed and principles to be considered in the interpretation and conservation processes of heritage sites, particularly ‘sites of memory’, in order to conserve them together with their intangible symbolic content as a ‘locus of memory’. Further, in the case of Ankara Ulucanlar Central Closed Prison as a ‘site of conscience’, the study analyzes the collected memories/recollections through methods defined within this framework and portrays the ‘overall memory-image’ of the prison from the perspective of former political prisoners. This image itself emerges as a means of assessing the intangible symbolic content of the prison in relation to its physicality by visualizing the distribution and intensity of memories, the durational depth of certain localities, and indicating singular crystallized memory-images having symbolic gravity for the group.

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Citation Formats
Z. Kutlu, “The intangible within tangible: Conservation of architectural heritage as a locus of memory, the case of Ankara Ulucanlar prison,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2021.