Arrivals and Departures: Understanding Cultural Memory in The Terminal

Kanika Sharma

Shyama Prasad Mukherji College, University of Delhi, New Delhi.Email:

Volume 9, Number 2, 2017 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/rupkatha.v9n2.06

Received May 27, 2017; Revised July 18, 2017; Accepted July 25, 2017; Published August 08, 2017.


This paper attempts to understand the space of the airport, and locate the interaction of an individual that inhabits this space, particularly when this space of transit becomes more than a static portal. The space of the airport is architecturally informed with a universal language and this language dictates the movements of the individual. The dynamics of this spatial language is intentionally designed to be trans-historic, devoid of a past, and solely for the consumption of a solitary traveller. However this definition of the airport gets redefined when the movement of the individual is stalled and turns into an undefined wait, such a representation is presented through Spielberg’s The Terminal. This paper will explore these issues about a traveller’s filiations and affiliations with the space of airport, the first part of the study will scale out the argument by understanding the category of non-places, and in the second part, a discussion of the above mentioned scenario will be construed through the example of the same in 2004, Steven Spielberg’s movie The Terminal.

Keywords: Marc Augé, Non-place, cultural memory, space, The Terminal.

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