Azra Akšamija - National purification through religious architecture
Vortrag im Rahmen des Schwerpunktthemas Solidarität - Wie entstehen demokratische Räume?
20.01.2012 | 19:00
Veranstaltungsort: Gumpendorfer Straße 63b, 1060 Wien google Maps
Mosques in Bosnia-Herzegovina 1992–2010
Forgetting and violence, as French philosopher Ernest Renan has argued, are integral factors of national formations. This lecture explores the spatial aspects of forgetting and violence within the process of nationalist division of Bosnia-Herzegovina through the lens of religious architecture. More specifically Akšamija investigates how the nationalist extremists seized on cultural heritage and religious monuments during the war of 1992–1995 in order to facilitate the realization of their expansionist projects. While all ethno-national groups in Bosnia experienced significant war losses, Bosnian Muslims suffered the greatest human and architectural casualties. The lecture will show how the extent and the genocidal nature of war violence against Bosnian Muslims has transformed the meaning of the mosque from a place of worship and religious-ethnic identity to a place of the ethnic body of the Bosniak nation. The lecture highlights the significance of ethnic symbols, long-term cultural factors and global cultural flows in the formation of nations. (Text: Azra Akšamija, http://www.azraaksamija.net/)
Azra Akšamija is a Sarajevo-born Austrian artist and architectural historian. She received her doctorate in History of Islamic Art and Architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and is currently Assistant Professor at the “MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology”. She also holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in architecture from Graz University of Technology (Austria) and Princeton University (USA). Akšamija’s Ph.D. dissertation explores how Bosnian Muslims construct their identity through the lens of rebuilt or newly built mosques following the systematic destruction of religious architecture during the Bosnian War 1992–1995. In her interdisciplinary practice, Akšamija works with different media, such as sculpture, video and textile. Her work investigates identity politics in art and architecture, with focus on representations of ‘Islam in the West’ and the transformative conflict-mediation through cultural education and pedagogy. Her work has been shown internationally.
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Ahmet ef. Rahmanovi