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TRADITIONAL DWELLINGS AND SETTLEMENTS REVIEW

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Volume 17.2

Tradition in a Global City?
Peter Marcuse 
The article examines the nature of tradition in the urban environment, and argues that in global cities tradition fundamentally involves relations of power.  It opens by defining a vocabulary reflecting conceptual distinctions, such as between popular traditions and traditions of power, continuing traditions and recalled traditions, and negative traditions.  It then examines how these distinctions relate to the exercise of power in New York, with reference to the tradition of tall buildings, and the World Trade Center site in particular; and in Berlin, with reference to the rebuilding of symbolic sites in the wake of German reunification.  It concludes with a brief look at tradition as a form of resistance.
 

Violence and Empathy: National Museums and the Spectacle of Society
C. Greig Crysler
This article compares the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., with the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg, South Africa.  While dealing with different historical contexts, both institutions seek to embody models of tolerant national citizenship in their visitors by immersing them in narratives of collective violence, death and ultimately, national rebirth.  I examine these museums in relation to the emergence of similar institutions around the world, and argue that they reinvent pedagogies of citizenship and consumption that can be traced to spaces of public exhibition and display in the nineteenth century.  I suggest that the practices of empathetic identification employed by both institutions can be located within contemporary practices of consumer spectacle and prosthetic self-fashioning, and are intertwined with the rise of affective labor and global economies of desire.  In crafting idealized models of citizenship based on the simulated experience of national violence, both museums attempt to contain politically charged histories in a museological past, where they can be curated, commemorated and instrumentally separated from the violence of nation-state in the global present.
 

Building for the Business of Bermuda

Sylvia Shorto
The vernacular building of Bermuda until very recently followed the slow, steady trajectory of small-island evolution.  In the 1960s its distinctive architectural aesthetic was written into the law, partly to safeguard the tourist industry.  Contemporary economic events in Bermuda, driven by the forceful presence of international insurance companies, are now dictating change.  This article examines two buildings, recently constructed as global headquarters for ACE Limited and XL Capital Limited.  It links the conscious manipulation of local traditions of material culture by these companies to residual effects of Bermuda’s particular colonial history.
 

Modeling Citizenship in Turkey’s Miniature Park

Ipek Türeli
This article discusses the design and wider political significance of Miniaturk, a nonprofit cultural heritage site opened in Istanbul in 2003.  It analyzes how image, publicity, and architectural form have come together to rework memory to conform to a new perceived relationship between citizens and the Turkish state.  As a site of architectural miniatures, Miniaturk provides an escape from the experience of the everyday.  But it also must be understood in dialectic relation to gigantic new sites of global capital around the city.  Miniature parks are a global type with a long history.  The article seeks to understand why a miniature Turkey has only just appeared, and why it has been received with such enthusiasm in the context of contemporary Turkish politics.  How can its appeal be interpreted in relation to comparable sites?  As a cultural “showcase,” how does it represent Istanbul, Turkey, and the concept of Turkish citizenship?
 
 

FIELD REPORT
Changing Zuluness: Capturing the Mercurial Indigenous Vernacular Architecture of the Eastern Seaboard of Southern Africa

Deborah Whelan

Many consider the beehive grass iqhugwana archetypically Zulu.  Along with the shield and assegai, it is iconic in the tourism culture of “the Zulu Kingdom,” representing the maintenance of an exotic “tradition.”  I argue that this is not necessarily so, as historical material shows evidence of a continual adaptation and evolution of this form.  Furthermore, using the more contemporary example of the decorated buildings of Msinga, I suggest that the recent vernacular environment is a result of a postglobal Africanization, in a geographic area that, due to its circumstances, may have missed out on the globalization phenomenon completely.