Cities are palimpsests with visible and not-so visible markers that conceal within them stories of its evolution. Demarcation of heritage assists in unveiling these containers but not always, necessarily the contents. The artifact then, reveals itself as a fragment removed from its original circumstance and desire, engulfed and enframed by a set of new constraints.
Collective Memory contrasts history and memory as two contradictory ways of dealing with the past. History starts when social memory and continuous tradition stop operating and dissolve. While history is only for a few as there can be only one history, collective memory is shared by the whole community and thus there can be as many memories as communities. According to Halbwachs, historians aim at writing an objective and impartial universal history and are limited in their validity to members of a particular community.
Doreen Massey in Space, Place and Gender argues that space must be conceptualized integrally with time, as constructed of social relations. She goes on to state that space needs to be thought of not as some absolute dimension but as a construct of social relations. History as a mode of production or as a socio-ecological pattern will enable a different description of space. It would attempt to form a dialectic between the spatial and the temporal. The focus of this history shifts from classifications of buildings into glorious eras to understanding economic landscapes, from identifying styles to identifying types and contexts and from narrating glorious events to documenting people’s lifestyles.The framework elaborates identification of heritage from built-structures to include work conditions, living conditions and other city cultures. A changed framework of understanding history will enable a more inclusive and nuanced interpretation of heritage.
The workshop would look at tracing other histories and reading patterns of the city’s development and heritage through them.