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Inicio arrow Ciudades imaginadas. Sevilla arrow Seminar Urban Imageries: a Public Reality

Seminar Urban Imageries: a Public Reality

Director: Armando Silva
Venue: International University of Andalusia (UNIA). Monasterio de Santa María de las Cuevas, Av. Américo Vespucio 2. Isla de la Cartuja (Sevilla)
Date: 27 >> 30 June 2005
Guest Researchers: Manuel Delgado, Pedro G. Romero, José Luiz Ortiz Nuevo, Marta Pelegrín Rodríguez, Armando Silva




Ciudad de México, 2007, Foto de Armando Silva para " Ciudad de México imaginada". Cartel sobre ruinas del terremoto de México, 1985During a large part of the 20th century, a range of sociological and even historicist theories have based their perception of society on the belief that there was a progressive advance towards a potential common wellbeing. However, in the past few years, we have seen how this view has been reversed as the new millennium seems to be heralding a period when the individual rather than the community, is held in higher regard. The once widely accepted sociological theories seem to have been replaced by psychological assumptions. Once again we find that the interpretation of citizens' conduct gives rise to a conflict of paradigms: sociological for those things related to community, psychological for the individual. This relationship between psyche and society is now regarded by various investigative approaches as being one of the best ways to interpret a person's relationship with the places and areas in which their lives develop.

Bearing this in mind, the international project Culturas urbanas desde sus imaginarios sociales (Urban Cultures as seen from Their Social Imageries) directed by Armando Silva, makes the assumption that places are no longer a mere physical space but a psychological region in which social perceptions constructed in an imaginary way are constructed, whilst the actual places in which we interact are increasingly perceived nowadays as facts of a mental nature. Thus, the planet of imageries moves in two different directions: from the city, the systems and institutions move towards individuals; and between the individuals themselves, with individual elements being conceived as collective ways of perception which generate different views about the world.

These viewpoints, by which people become urbanised, because it is the citizens themselves who give cities their full meaning (hence the distinction between city and urban), give rise to a variety of ways of defining the city in terms of the imaginary effect of the urban - which comes from outside and affects the city by urbanising it. They also lead to new expressions of identity reflected in common aesthetic elements: trans-national youth fashions, simultaneous fear of war and global terrorism which is shared amongst the world population, or the collective recognition of chromatic and audio scales which identify one particular place within a city. In other words, we will explore the appearance of an imagined city of an ethereal nature which is linked to social mentalities and clearly prevails over the physical city, transforming it from above, and redefining the traditional city which is more closely linked to the ground in terms of territorial space, thus giving rise to phenomena like the one on which we are focusing: "urban imageries"

The aim of these studies is to capture powerful images or symbols of imagery which are able to portray the era in which they were produced. When we see these images, we should be able to perceive the imagined space in which they interact, especially in terms of their aesthetic nature, both from inside and outside of art itself.

This workshop-seminar intends to encourage a thorough investigation on Seville's Urban Cultures - Sevilla imaginada (Imagined Seville) - from the perspective of their social imageries. Following the methodology developed by researcher Armando Silva in some of his works on urban imageries such as Culturas urbanas en América Latina y Barcelona [Urban Cultures in Latin America and Barcelona](1999-2004), the main aim of the seminar is to establish the different forms of being urban.

The methodology involves compiling statistical data from opinion polls containing information on how people perceive the city. These have been carefully designed for each particular city by using photographs, video images and a collection of city images from the media, amongst other things. These resources and data will give us a significant interpretative instrument which should allow us to answer the following question: What does being urban in Seville mean today in comparison with the other cities in the study?




Monday, 27 June 2005
· 20:30 h.
Conference by Armando Silva*
Urban Imageries: a public reality

Tuesday, 28 June 2005
· 17:00 h.
Workshop: meeting with the participants who registered to work with Armando Silva to discuss and develop ideas on methodology and research techniques to approach the potential study of Imagined Seville.

· 19:30 h.
Guided Walk I** by Marta Pelegrín Rodríguez
There are Places where I Lose my Sense of Direction.
A City on the Move: Canals, Trains, Roads, and the Airport. Northern Seville

Santa Justa Station - Campo de los Mártires - C-3: Around the Rinconada - Cortijo Gota de Leche - Miraflores Canal - Airport - Los Carteros Cultural Centre - Avenida Pino Montano - Sanctuary on the Supernorte Ringroad/Road to La Algaba - Riverside in San Jerónimo.

Wednesday, 29 June 2005
· 17:00 h.
Workshop: meeting with the participants who registered to work with Armando Silva to discuss and develop ideas on methodology and research techniques to approach the potential study of Imagined Seville.

· 19:30 h.
Guided Walk II** by José Luis Ortiz Nuevo
About the Memory of Senses and Things.
A tour through the memory of places, feelings, moments, thoughts, yearnings, aromas, sounds, noises, conversations, the river, a way of being in time, to enjoy it and forget its passing

San Julián -Don Fadrique Tower - Paseo de Juan Carlos I - Calle Baños - Aquí nació el Flamenco (the birthplace of flamenco) - Calle Tarifa - Por los siete dolores (in reference to the tradition of Easter Processions)- Santa Catalina: Newspaper Library and El Tremendo (bar).

Thursday, 30 June 2005
· 20:30 h.
Round Table Debate *
The city of Betis and Sevilla Football Clubs
With the participation of Manuel Delgado, Pedro G. Romero and Armando Silva

* The sessions held on Monday 27 and Thursday 30 will be open to the public
** The meeting point for the guided walks is at the main building of the Universidad Internacional de Andalucía and they will start at 7.30 pm.

[Only candidates whose registration has been accepted will be allowed to attend the workshop meetings and participate in the walks. The sessions held on Monday 27 and Thursday 30 will be open to the public.]




Manuel Delgado
He is graduated with a degree in History of Art from the University of Barcelona where he then studied for a Doctorate in Anthropology. He later did further post - graduate studies in Religious Sciences at the l'École Pratique des Hautes Études, in the Sorbonne in Paris. Since 1984, he has been a professor of Religious Anthropology in the Social Anthroplogy department of the University of Barcelona whilst also being coordinator for the Doctorate Programme in Spacial and Territorial Anthropology and the Investigative Group on Public Spaces. He has worked extensively in the study of construction of collective identity in urban contexts, a subject on which he has published various articles in both national and international publications. He is also the editor of the compilations Antropologia social (Barcelona, 1994) and Ciutat i immigració (Barcelona, 1997), and is the author of books like De la muerte de un dios (Barcelona, 1986), Diversitat i integració (Barcelona, 1998), El animal público (Premio Anagrama de Ensayo, Barcelona, 1999), Luces iconoclastas (Barcelona, 2001) and Disoluciones urbanas (Medellín, 2002).

Pedro G. Romero
He is a member of the content team of the UNIA arteypensamiento project. Since 2000, he has worked in the Archivo F.X. and Máquina P.H. projects working on iconoclasm and flamenco, respectively. He has curated various projects and exhibitions such as Vivir en Sevilla. Construcciones visuales, flamenco y cultura de masas desde 1966 (Living in Seville. Visual Constructions, Flamenco and Mass Culture since 1966). He is a regular collaborator in dance and theatre programmes, especially with flamenco dancer Israel Galván. His published works include: La vida cotidiana en la Puerta Osario y la Puerta la Carne [Everyday Life in Puerta Osario and Puerta la Carne](1997), Los fondos de arquitectura en la cultura barroca y popular sevillana [Architectural Works in Sevillian Baroque and Popular Culture](1999), Los comienzos del espectáculo en Sevilla [The Origins of the Spectacle in Seville](1999) and Sacer. Fugas sobre lo sagrado y la vanguardia en Sevilla [SACER, Fugues about the Sacred and Avant-Garde in Seville](2004).

José Luis Ortiz Nuevo
He has a degree in Political Sciences and was the founder of Seville's Bienal Flamenco Festival, which he directed from 1980 to 1996 (except the 1986 edition). He is a member of the Dirección de la Cumbre Flamenca de Madrid (1986-87) and coordinates the team who prepared the Memorandum for the Declaration of Flamenco as part of the World's Oral Heritage (2003-2004). He has worked in newspapers, radio and television as a scriptwriter and art director, and has performed in numerous scenic projects such as Estrellas de la Bienal de Sevilla (1991), Por dos letras (1997), Sevilla (2004). He has also written numerous books such as Las mil y una historias de Pericón de Cádiz [A Thousand and One Stories about Pericón of Cadiz](Ediciones Demófilo, Madrid 1975), ¿Se sabe algo? El flamenco en la prensa sevillana del siglo XIX [Does Anyone Know Anything? Flamenco in the 19th Century Sevillian Press] (Ediciones El Carro de la Nieve, Sevilla, 1990) and Alegato contra la pureza [Arguments Against Purity] (Libros P.M., Barcelona 1996).

Marta Pelegrín Rodríguez
She is an architect who graduated from the College of Architecture of Seville University. Since 2000 she has participated in various congresses, courses, and international seminars on architecture and urbanism. She is currently working on a doctoral thesis about spaces for collective appropriation and mechanisms for activating places and making them subjective. From this perspective she has developed various architectural projects such as: Logosíntesis (Logo-synthesis) an award-wining logo-sign design for a citizen's participation project related to the participative creation of public budgets promoted by the City Council of Seville; Fotosíntesis/Luminiscencias (Photosynthesis/Luminescence), a project for the activation of spaces by means of photo-sensitive artistic lighting; parques_activados (Activated Parks), and award-winning projects in Utrera (Seville) and La Victoria (Cordoba). On a freelance basis she has worked in various projects and pieces related to the city and cultural spaces including exhibition designs and installations, and theatre space projects. She also directed the project for the new Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam for CruzyOrtiz Arquitectos.

Armando Silva
He is a writer and PhD in Philosophy and Literature from the University of California, carried out his doctoral studies on semiotics and psychoanalysis in Spain, France, and Italy. His work as a scholar working on the field of aesthetics and art has been recently recognised with various awards: in 2005 he won the Prosul competition organised by the Unisinos University of Brazil to develop a communication and citizenship project in South American countries; he was selected by The Danish Arts Agency to be included in the catalogue of authors of the 2004 Sao Paulo Bienal, which featured the "global imaginaries" theme; in 2002 he was invited by Documenta 11 in Kassel, Germany, to participate in an exhibition in his capacity as researcher for "information societies from an aesthetic perspective through books, visual, and audiovisual productions". Documenta 11 also published his book Urban Imaginaires from Latin America. Through the Andrés Bello Agreement, in 1999 he was appointed Director of the "Culturas urbanas de América Latina y España desde sus imaginarios sociales" project (Urban Cultures in Latin America and Spain from their Social Imageries), in which his methodology was followed in 13 cities to analyse the different ways of being Latin American using fantasy elements and citizens' perceptions; in 1996, his book Álbum de familia (Family Album) was awarded the prize for the best doctoral thesis from the universities of California. He has written 16 books on contemporary themes in terms of art, media and culture. He currently writes a column in the Bogotá newspaper El Tiempo and collaborates in various international magazines such as Dars (Italy), Ciudades (México), The Journal of Culture and the Unconscious (San Francisco), and Estados Unidos o Cultura/s (Barcelona).