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Extreme Europe
by Stephen Barber
Reaktion Books, 2001
Paper: 978-1-86189-091-7 | eISBN: 978-1-86189-633-9

Extreme Europe explores the urban extremes of Europe in their cultural, physical, geographical and mythical dimensions, considering the history and visual culture of Europe in the decade after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Barber's purpose is to examine Europe's cities and their surrounding areas as sites of a conflict between the mesmerizing, all-engulfing power of visual media and the barely surviving traces of tenacious historical culture; his premise is that the "breakdown zones" at Europe's urban edges are the sites where its oppositional and most vital images and languages are being created today.

Barber sets out to explore and define Europe's political and conceptual edges, first making a circuit eastwards through Albania to Turkey, then south- and westwards along the Mediterranean coast, with stops in Crete and Marseille. The book's two other sections move, first, through several decades of history as they can be read in both the surviving and the transformed fabrics of Berlin, and, finally, through the frayed, disaffected multicultural landscapes of Paris's outer suburbs.

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