Arrival and departure signs
The Terminal (2004). Studio version of JFK Airport.
When applying Augé’s theory on non-places we find that in this case Navorski builds himself a ‘place’ within the ‘non-place’ airport. While a ‘non-place’ is a passage, which creates solitude amongst its visitors, ‘places’ assign identity to its dwellers, are connected to other places and things and are in a sense historical (Augé: 85 -86, 94 – 95). According to Augé, people can establish a certain familiarity with specific non-places when they frequent them a lot (Augé 1995: 98). Navorski of course becomes very familiar with the airport, but what he does that eventually makes him at home, is that he adapted his environment to his needs. The viewer sees this when the new and unfinished terminal where he sleeps and eats, starts showing more and more signs of habitation. For instance we can see that someone has put a plant there and a wheelchair functioning as a chair has a makeshift cover over it. Navorski making friends and a finding job, contribute to his ‘place’ within a non-place, yet this situation is only applicable to him. (source: paper 'Transient Glamour' for the Liverpool conference 'City in Film'. Iris Burgers)
Airport as non-place


Director: Steven Spielberg. Met o.a. Tom Hanks.