Dubai is often characterized as a city of artificiality and repackaged public spaces—a city without a past. The old historic Dubai has essentially disappeared, lost in the shadows of iconic resort projects and popular shopping malls. This article asks the following question: how do Dubai's museums function in relation to an urban field for the most part bereft of historical fabric, and in which the history that is made visible within the public realm is largely fictional or highly sanitized? We argue that to make sense of the ways history is represented and circulated in Dubai's public spaces, the traditional category of “museum” should be extended to include both large-scale history-themed malls and small heritage houses. Taken altogether, Dubai's museums and museum-like institutions constitute a conceptually complete and closed system that manages to “resolve” the apparent paradox of an urban context characterized by absence and historical loss, in which, paradoxically, expressions of historical fullness are everywhere.
A Structural Analytic
John Biln and Mohamed El Amrousi
Shifting Sensitivities in Two Neighbourhood Spaces of Istanbul
The neighbourhood-based battles over norms and values in the ethnically diverse as well as sexual and gendered urban landscapes of the Istanbul neighbourhood (mahalle) spaces of Tophane and Kurtuluş reflect the complexity of the current political transformations that have been shaping Turkey as a whole and Istanbul in particular before and after the 15 July 2016 coup attempt. The analysis of the mahalle as the state’s margin reflects on how public moral talk, including the notion of ‘sensitivity’ (hassasiyet), reverberates in the making of public morality in both neighbourhood spaces. This article specifically focuses on the role of rumours in mediating ideas on behaviour deemed as in/appropriate in the mahalle as ‘moral territory’ and the mundane practices of self-appointed old and new ‘guards’ of the mahalle.
Political and Symbolic Effects Due to Privatisation of Urban Sanitation Services
I would like to submit to you the idea that an anthropological approach to urban wastes and their corresponding techniques provides an understanding of the social mechanisms of articulation between the different spaces which exist in a city, as well as the construction mechanism or legitimisation of social positions. The continuing privatisation of public services, including urban sanitation services, for the pro t of big Western companies, highlights the consequences of globalisation through the imposition of technical systems.
Central Asian Migrants between Ethnic Discrimination and Religious Integration
For migrants coming from Central Asia to Moscow, the Cathedral Mosque functions as a central hub to organise their life in the Russian capital. The reason for this is not predominantly their faith or religion. Rather, this place of worship opens a space in which these mostly Tajik people translate their status from that of a stranger exposed to xenophobia and distrust to the respected position of a proper Muslim.
History as a Resource in Postmodern Societies
Máiréad Nic Craith and Michaela Fenske
How do people use history to shape their lives, places and ‘worlds’? Which kind of history do they use, and in what ways? What are the functions of history in this context? How do people interact with places and spaces by constructing history, and what are the implications of these constructions for a sense of place? These are some of the questions explored in this special issue of the Anthropological Journal of European Cultures on history and place-making.
Venenum, un Monde Empoisonné, Musée des Confluences
The Musée des Confluences in Lyon, France, recently organized a remarkable exhibition: Venenum, un Monde Empoisonné. It ran from April 2017 to April 2018 and was located in one of the museum’s five large temporary exhibition spaces. Venenum did justice to the multidisciplinary and multi-thematic nature of this newly founded museum, bringing together objects otherwise classified separately as natural history, art, ethnography, or history.
Anna Edmundson, Margo Neale, Michèle Rivet, Brett Mason, Katie Kyung, Rebecca Gibson, Alison K. Brown, Tatiana Argounova-Low, Maria Lucia de Niemeyer Matheus Loureiro, Charlotte Hyltén-Cavallius, and Fredrik Svanberg
Return of the Native: Contestation, Collaboration, and Co-authorship in Museum Spaces, Australian National University, 18–19 June 2015
Access Is a Human Right: The Federation of International Human Rights Museums Conference, Te Papa, Wellington, 23–25 September 2015
Narrative Objects: The Sakha Summer Festival and Cultural Revitalization
Object, Document, and Materiality: Outline of an Ongoing Research Project
Museums Beyond Homogeneity: Museums and Diversity in Sweden
Remembering a Frontrunner
In German academic Volkskunde of the 1970s, scholar Ina-Maria Greverus was a pioneer in several realms. As a woman and feminist, she challenged the discipline’s gender order, including its hidden gendered epistemology; as an early reader of international cultural anthropology, she transgressed nationalistically confined horizons, and her methodological openness created space for new formats that challenged false assumption of scientific objectivity and neutrality.
Creating Situations and Spaces of a City's Counter-narrative
This article explores the creation of new structures of participation and counter imaginaries within the city between the poles of arts and politics. On the basis of two case studies, one situated in the non-institutionalised artistic field and one in the non-institutionalised political field, I will explore narratives of a 'topography of the possible' in the city of Salzburg. Aiming to outline collage pieces of a topography of the possible and of counter-narrative in and of the city – the city is looked at in terms of collage, understood as overlapping layers of the three spatial dimensions materiality (physical space), sociability (social space) and the imaginary (symbolic space). These are understood as differing but interrelated spatial dimensions, each one unfolding forms of collective appropriation of a city. The focus lies on the creation of social relations and collective imaginaries on the micro-level of cultural and political self-organised initiatives, looked at under terms of narration and storytelling. My ethnographic project asks for the creative potentiality of a city and for the creative power of social relations and collective imaginaries.
Derrida’s hostipitalité formulation provides a framework through which we might begin to explore the relationship between Iranian citizen-hosts and Afghan refugee-guests in the city of Shiraz and the surrounding province. Notions of Iranian hospitality thread through multiple and diverse constructions of Iranian selfhood. Religion, poetry and history speak to what it means to be Iranian, marking out categories of Self and Other and, in doing so, exposing the limits of hospitality in the very spaces that the nation is most acutely felt.