Modernities and Memories in Bangkok

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Wat Pathumwanaram, a green oasis in the heart of the newly redeveloped Central Shopping District of Bangkok, represents not only a repository of cultural memory within this modern corner of the city, but also bears witness previous episodes of historical modernities and memories in Thailand. It is the purpose of this paper to juxtapose modernity and memory as coupled concepts which continually interact in space and time. Memory is an important concept of modernity outlined here through the concepts of 19th century French philosopher Henri Bergson, and modernity has developed its own memories, especially in this particular area of Bangkok where so many historical forms of modernity have found expression between the eras of Rama IV to Rama IX. Cultural memory and modernity are continually redefined by every generation and differently interpreted by every individual. Modernities and memories are therefore dynamic, living elements of the city, rather than fixed in place or meaning.

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How to Cite
McGRATH, B. (2006). Modernities and Memories in Bangkok. Nakhara : Journal of Environmental Design and Planning, 1, 25–40. Retrieved from
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