Rewriting history: Interpreting heritage in saint petersburg and istanbul
Our chapter analyses the paradoxes of reconstructing and reinterpreting architectural heritage, with a focus on the phenomenon of disappearing history. We argue: In the process of multiplication of actors involved in the reconstruction and reinterpretation of heritage sites, history and historical facts are playing a dwindling role. Using two case studies—Degtyarnyy Lane, a former tram station and park in Saint Petersburg, and the Emek Cinema building and Roma Garden in Istanbul, both of which are signifiers of the overall changes in Istanbul’s central Beyoğlu district after the 2000s—this chapter investigates how the multiplication of actors affects, on the one hand, the production of new histories of the highlighted heritage sites, and how this process leads to the disappearance of history in these cities; and on the other hand, how ‘rewriting’ the histories of these sites through heritage production affects the growing securitization around these sites and thereby access to them. Which social groups are included and which are excluded from these newly recreated places and sites and their ‘historical’ narratives? The analysis takes into account the strong spatio-temporal interplay in urban heritage sites.