Living In Purgatory: Homelessness Amidst Urban Regeneration In Salhane, İzmir



This article analyzes the effects of urban regeneration on the everyday lives and subjectivities of the residents of Salhane, which was announced to be İzmir’s new city center in 2001.  Folkart Towers, which were completed in 2014, are the first mixed-use buildings in the area.  Surrounded by warehouses and a slum neighbourhood on two sides, the latter consists of twin towers which accommodate offices, residences and a broad range of commercial facilities.  Folkart Towers lead radical economic, social and cultural transformations in the area where the construction of numerous eye-catching skyscapers, shopping centers and luxury residences are in the pipeline.  The seemingly extravagant lifestyle that is represented by the twin towers is very different than the harsh living conditions of its neighbouring slum area.  At first sight the difference may be explained by such binary terms as rich/poor, privileged/marginal, urban/rural and planned/unplanned.  However a deeper analysis reveals a more complicated and multi-layered situation.

The present study on the subjectivities and everyday lives of Folkart Towers and slum residents is informed by both field work that has been conducted in the area and psychoanalytical theories of subjectivity, which consider the relationship between its visual and sensational components.  Research reveals that both components of the subjectivities of the residents of Folkart Towers and the slum neighbourhood are effected by the regeneration processes in Salhane whereby all parties experience homelessness in different ways.  This article aims to provide a framework for the analysis of the selationship between subjectivity and space in general and the effects of Salhane’s urban regeneration on its inhabitants’ subjectivities in particular.

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