The multiple temporalities of pilgrimage: space and time interaction in the movement of pilgrims
Evgenia Mesaritou (University of Toronto, University of Cyprus)
Paper short abstract:
The paper explores the ways in which space and time interact in the movement of Greek Cypriot pilgrims to a shrine that constitutes 'matter out of time' (Hamman 2008) as well as place, looking at the different temporalities experienced by pilgrims and traced by sites.
Paper long abstract:
This paper focuses on the returns 'home' of Greek Cypriots as they revisit a monastery located in territory lost to them after the still ongoing division of the island. I draw on data derived from in-depth interviews with pilgrims and participant observation of pilgrimage journeys in order to explore two main areas. First, the different temporalities experienced by pilgrims as they traverse different spaces and landscapes on their way to a shrine that constitutes 'matter out of time' (Hamman 2008) as well as place. Second, the various temporalities traced by sites in their various states of ruination or restoration- states which may invoke different temporal schemes, as well as afford heterogeneous experiences of time, history and affect. The paper therefore examines the ways in which space and time interact in the physical and mental movement of pilgrims to, from and at the site, looking at how different forms of historical consciousness and interpretations of the past, present and possible future are prompted by spatial, material and temporal dimensions of the landscape that is traversed and the shrine that is visited.