Accepted Paper:

Placing a Mosque in Yerevan: Invisible Place, Multiple Names?  


Tsypylma Darieva (Centre for East European and international Studies)

Paper short abstract:

The paper discusses uncertain social life of a transnational religious place in postsocilalist Yerevan, the Blue mosque. By identifying different names of the mosque as a space of multiple meanings, I show how it was differently perceived and used in everyday life by locals and newcomers.

Paper long abstract:

In this paper I discuss an uncertainty of urban sacred places as intersection of political, material and social relations and identify different names of the Blue mosque in the post-socialist city Yerevan: as a museum's place, as ritual space for Moslem expats and students, as public space for urban leisure. As post-Soviet states adapt to international convention for human rights and tolerance one can observe the intensity, restroration and plurality of multi-religious activity in Yerevan, on one hand, and intolerance and hostility towards religious minorities, on the other hand. I discuss the past and present of the Blue mosque in Yerevan, as a space of multiple meanings and practices and show how this place was differently perceived in guide-books and everyday life by locals and newcomers. The question is whether, along with ethno-national paradigms of social order, new policies and practices of tolerance and interconnections to the city's multi-ethnic past begin to re-diversify the urban landscape in Yerevan. In this way, the paper explores a new form of acquisition of space and a post-socialist modality of transnational realities in connection with a contemporary salience and diversification of religious landscapes around the globe.

Panel W016
Space, place and religious rituals in the context of migration (EN, FR)