Urban Syncretism: Conscious and Unconscious Architectural Formation of National Identity
There is another strategy of identity, called ‘syncretisation’ or syncretism. It is a form of hybrid fusion, in which two or more different stylistic vocabulary or recognisable elements of cultural expression are combined and juxtaposed. The process itself can be a natural process or outcome evolved across time due to the dynamics of trade and communal contacts, or it can be the conscious act of merging two identities – typically by a ruling entity or figure – for unification purposes. This chapter highlights this strategy in national identity, and differentiates it from the strategy of regionalising a universal language. This strategy is highly innovative; it has been known to produce key iconic architecture throughout the ages and expressively advocates and combines two separate vocabularies.
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