Thursday, December 8, 2011

Place and Non-Place

Above image: Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam, Netherlands

The french anthropologist Marc Augé, coined the term non-place: a place that is considered a transient point, where people are only passing through, of little significance in route to somewhere else. Airports are a perfect example of this non-place.
As my global journeys expand, I recognize that these non-place spaces are in fact significant points of reference, a necessary catalyst. An obvious example is an airport; a vehicle enabling travel from one point to another. But a less obvious example would be non-places that act as a solice in dealing with the hardships in life. The last six days of my fathers life were spent in a small hospice in Phoenix, Arizona. I stayed with him for these last days and weathered the sadness I experienced. The blandness of Non-place, Arizona offered a needed reprise from the intensity of hospice. The sameness of Target was an emotional salve. The generically regulated familiarity of TGIFridays was reliable, I knew what to expect. These ideas don't apply when dealing with the mysterious form of death.
So I offer this up, what of the non-place? What interests lie in , around and through the non-place? I am curious how these sites impact our lives not only on a physical, literal level but on a more significant human level.

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