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Gesche Würfel –Basement Sanctuaries

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Basement Sanctuaries explores the ways in which superintendents decorate basements of apartment buildings in Northern Manhattan by illuminating the process of migrant adaptation to the metropolis from an intimate perspective. In many ways, basements are special sanctuaries for supers and their families. Supers often live in basements that are hidden from the public and from visitors, which creates a certain form of privacy. However, the basement is also a space of work for supers and their environment is on display for the residents of the building. Under these circumstances, the supers’ decorations function as a territorial claim over the basement’s semi-public/private space.

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