world trade center memorial
world trade center memorial

Shipping the World Trade Center

A Material Afterlife
Duration
2019 until 2023
Project member(s)
Dr L. Munteán (László)
Project type
Research

This book project focuses on the ruins of the World Trade Center following their removal from Ground Zero. Building on previous scholarship on the ruins’ radically heterogeneous materiality in which the remains of victims are inextricably mixed with debris and the remains of terrorists, this project explores the ruins’ afterlife in three areas: 1) the post-Ground Zero biography of WTC steel, 2) the exhibition of objects in the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, and 3) textual and visual representations of the afterlife of the World Trade Center ruins. Rather than anchoring the discussion of the ruins onto the cataclysmic event of 9/11, this project centers on the musealization of relics, the fetishization of WTC steel as sacred material, and the selling of the wreckage as scrap metal. These uses of the ruins are justified by various political, economic, social, and cultural norms and practices that this project explores.

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