Contested public space in “downtown jerusalem”: Jaffa gate and the municipal garden in late Ottoman Jerusalem

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Dokumentart: BookPart
Date: 2023-02
Source: Ben-Bassat, Yuval; Büssow, Johann: From the Household to the Wider World. Tübingen University Press 2022
Language: English
Other Keywords: Jerusalem
public space
municipal garden
Jaffa Gate
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Focusing on “downtown” Jerusalem during the final years of Ottoman rule in the city, this chapter demonstrates how streets, gardens, and squares served multiple pur- poses, sometimes simultaneously, especially during periods of war and conflict. It focuses on three main sites: Jaffa Gate, the Municipal Garden, and Jaffa Road, and examines their different uses and functions during the final years of Ottoman rule, including World War I. These areas were controlled by the Ottoman authorities, but were also simultaneously claimed and used by various groups for other purposes. The analysis of public sites in Je- rusalem serves to demonstrate how public space was contested and negotiated during this time of crisis. In the words of Henry Lefebvre, “Space is permeated by social relations; it is not only supported by social relations but it is also producing and produced by social rela- tions.” Indeed, the city, I argue, should be viewed and analyzed as a dynamic, active, chang- ing setting that sets the stage for different kinds of interactions, negotiations, and conflicts. I view space and place as intimately bound up with the constitution of social identities, and as deeply embedded in historical conflicts and processes. These processes may be wars and conflicts, political changes, colonial or post-colonial dynamics, and everyday practices.

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