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European City in Comparative Perspective: Seventh International Conference on Urban History  

Τίτλος:State, society and market in Preveza: historical time and historical centre in a small Greek town
Κύρια Υπευθυνότητα:Rentzos, Ioannis
Κύρια Υπευθυνότητα:Giannoulis, Nikos
Κύρια Υπευθυνότητα:Kallinikos, Jannis
Θέματα:Preveza (Greece) -- History
City planning -- Greece -- Preveza
Πρέβεζα (Ελλάδα) -- Ιστορία
Πολεοδομία -- Ελλάδα -- Πρέβεζα
Ημερομηνία Έκδοσης:2008-02-22
Abstract:In its seven-hundred year life, the small town of Preveza, in western Greece, looks like a mainland islet on an imaginary borderline with no recognisable historic past. Even less than one out of ten Greek students correlate, for instance, the legendary 'Dance of Zalogo' to the Preveza region, as students, in their majority, transfer it to the more glorious Missolonghi. On the basis of that remark, our contribution to the Conference shall question on the kind of history small towns can have, its production by historians and its use. And in what degree, in the national framework and context, a small town, its name, its space and time constitute inalterable map references and material points with an objectively historical interest for their region.It is also discussed, with emphasis, whether, an arbitrary or specific spatial and temporal entity, the so called the town's 'historic centre', instead of offering elements for recognising Preveza's history, it distorts its past and produces new meanings and values, the most important being the ‘ones’ of luxury products and services in free time shops' space.In this contribution a reconstruction of Preveza’s historical past is attempted in order to produce a paradigm answering the questions, which were put at the beginning. A critical approach will permit us to see how the modern state institutions and the free market forces continuously shrink small-town’s space and time. Their interventions result in some new iconographies, recommend new behaviours, produce unreal memories and satisfy artificial needs. Our contribution refers to:(1) the particular geostrategical / geopolitical content of Preveza’s geographical point (bombardments just before June 6th 1945, the AWACS facilities, etc) connected to the remote past (Actium - 31 a. D., Battle of Preveza - 1538), the town’s political life as it is expressed through the institutionalised political conflicts and the existence of different national and ethnic groups of its population, with various degrees of human, civil and political rights, setting alone the overall isolationism caused by the Athenian centre; (2) the actual form and inherited structure of the town (port, military camps), as a result of town-plan conception and interventions of modernisation and/or de-historisation (disappearance of the mosques, filling in the moat around the town's core), erection of statues (commemorating ‘heroes’, politicians and intellectuals) and construction of monumental buildings (for churches but also for banks) along with the obvious elimination of public space and suppression of elementary cultural and aesthetic right or life in the city; (3) Preveza’s images as they are ideologically and geopolitically expressed through texts and discourses on Preveza’s past, street and public spaces names and diffusion of undercurrent economic information related to arrangements serving mainly the automobile domination and private interests in Preveza’s space.
Περιγραφή:Includes bibliographical references
Βιβλιογραφική Παραπομπή:Paper presented at Seventh International Conference on Urban History: European City in Comparative Perspective, Panteion University, Athens - Piraeus, Greece, 27-30 October 2004, Session: Planning and urban transformation in the Balkans in the 19th and 20th centuries
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