B. van Toor
- Reflecting Absence, or How Ground Zero Was Purged of Its Material History (2001-2010)
- International Journal of Cultural Property
- Volume | Issue number
- 22 | 1
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam School for Heritage and Memory Studies (AHM)
The development of the urban space of Ground Zero has been a long and difficult process, resulting in the removal of almost all of its material history. The material objects formerly present on the site had an important part and significant agency in the struggle between different stakeholders of Ground Zero. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and Larry Silverstein, owner and leaseholder of the sixteen acres that held the Twin Towers, intended to rebuild the ten million square feet of office space that was destroyed on 9/11. This force of production asserted itself over possible modes of consumption of the space, each championed and represented by overlapping groups of people. Some wished to see the space redeveloped as a site of mourning, others as a site fit for touristic consumption, as a space for residence, or as a site representing a material past older than 9/11. It shall be argued that for these consumer groups the symbolic complexity of the site, and its potential power in political performances, was intricately connected to space and the material agency of objects remaining on Ground Zero post 2001.
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