[-empyre-] time and space and movement

Ana Valdés agora158 at gmail.com
Mon Mar 19 11:56:58 EST 2012

Thank you Eduardo for sharing my nostalgy of Visby and of Sweden :) I was
nostalgic of Montevideo when I was in Sweden :), now it's exactly the
opposite. The thing is someone asked me when I was deported to Sweden in
the 80:s and now when I am back in Montevideo how was exile and I said
exile is not missing a territory or a land but to miss a time.
I mean now when I stroll the streets of Montevideo I look for places and
spots where I usually hanged out when I was a teenager or a child. I wish
me back to the time when I was young together with others, now I feel this
country right a foreign country to me, in despite of dear friends as
Alicia, Sabela and others, who make me feel welcomed here.
And about the cities in itself my city is a mixture of certain shops in
Paris some museums in New York the Carl bridge in Prag the castle also in
Prag the cathedral in Mexico City the streets of Florence a little church
in Rom the Ecce Homo cloister in Jerusalem the flowers I saw in the dusty
streets of Gaza...
My city is Benjamins flaneur appropiating all cities and all flavours and
all smells of all the cities of the world.
My city is Metropolis and Gotham City and Camelot and Ulan Batar and Petra
and Troy and Izmir and Samarkand and all the cities Calvino wrote in
Invisible Cities, my favorite book :)

On Mon, Mar 19, 2012 at 1:35 AM, Eduardo Navas <eduardo at navasse.net> wrote:

>  Hi Ana,
> Reading your description of Visby reminded me of my visit and stay in the
> island of Gotland a couple of years ago, when I also had the pleasure to
> meet you in person.  It was a wonderful experience—thanks for making that
> possible with the Swedish Traveling Exhibitions.
> I also found myself doing the same thing you describe on Sundays, when I
> was there.  For me Visby did not feel like a city, but more like a small
> town.  Yet, everything needed and expected of big cities was to be found in
> the local stores.  Visby is great in that the architecture is untouched but
> the shops, themselves, are super modern. To this day I still remember
> having some of the best coffees in the local shops.
> Regarding Montevideo, I visited it a few years earlier, and was hosted by
> Brian Mackern.  It felt like a different type of city than any other I had
> visited at the time, and have visited since then.  The architecture is
> absolutely beautiful, yet at the same time, during my visit, many buildings
> appeared abandoned, and many streets were not well kept.   Very windy
> during my time there—just like Visby!
> In any case, I was compelled to respond to your post, not so much because
> I am acquainted with the cities you describe, but because your post made me
> realize how the concept of the city, when we think about it, is quite
> elusive and difficult to define and especially describe formally in
> “universal” terms if we really tried to move beyond the usual descriptions
> we are used to sharing.  As I read other posts after yours, I realized that
> while, as someone pointed out, when one may think of a city, it is Paris
> may come up, (in my mind is also New York), such generic definition is
> understood in relation to the city(ies) one lives or has lived in.  The
> concept of the skin of the city could be extended in this case to the
> diversity within the city as a concept beyond a singular urban center.  I
> think of this especially since regentrification has become a way to revise
> the “skins” of very different cities in different parts.  I noticed the act
>  of reinvention (one could argue a more distanced form of regentrification)
> in both Visby and Montevideo, and in this sense I think that cities are
> amazing social organisms that reflect the diversity and complexity of the
> people who dwell in them.
> Eduardo
> On 3/13/12 2:46 AM, "Ana Valdés" <agora158 at gmail.com> wrote:
> I am an urban dweller, it means I only enjoy the cities, any city, the
> feeling of many people moving around busy with their own lives.
> Last year I worked at the Swedish National Direction of Travelling
> Exhibitions, an institution with 40 employees and a beautiful new building
> in the city of Visby, in the island of Gotland, west from Stockholm.
> Gotland is the largest island in the Balticum Sea, inhabitated by around
> 60000 people. In the city of Visby lives around 10000 the whole year, in
> Summer about one million people comes to the island to enjoy the sea, the
> sun and the views.
> Visby is one of Europes most well conserved medieval city, with the walls
> intact. The walls were erected in the 13th century to separate the wealthy
> German merchants from the Swedish peasants who lived outside the walls and
> paid huge taxes to come into the city.
> Visby was part of the Hanseatic League and was (and still is) a beautiful
> city with several impressive churches and cathedrals.
> At Sundays, last Winter, I could see myself being the only person walking
> around the center of the town. I could walk home following my own traces
> and stepping up the marks left by my shoes.
> For me Visby was never a city, too empty, too beautiful, too clean. I need
> a dirtier and more soddy city. Montevideo, the city I moved to, fits in the
> latest classification.
> Ana
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> http://www.subtle.net/empyre


mobil/cell +4670-3213370

"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with
your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been and there you will always
long to return.
— Leonardo da Vinci
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au/pipermail/empyre/attachments/20120319/973f0e61/attachment.htm>

More information about the empyre mailing list