Industrial ruins, abandoned places and landscapes of urban decay have to an increasing extent come to surface in popular representations of towns and cities. Their appearances are widely circulated also through various social media platforms and online networks. Together, these “cultures of circulation” weave an increasingly complex imaginary texture of the recent past. In this chapter, I explore the cultural tensions between the rough, but no less phantasmagorical, materiality of decaying urban areas and the increasingly ephemeral cultures of online circulation. Exploring such a field, I argue, is a good way of grasping the different ways in which people imagine, mediate and relate to the half-forgotten remnants of the modern past, as well as a starting point for mapping the contested landscapes of the spreadable city.
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The interviews were carried out by PhD candidate Tindra Thor as part of the research project Cosmopolitanism from the Margins, funded by the Swedish Research Council and led by Professor Miyase Christensen, the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm.