Narrative spaces in a multicultural city 
Larisa Fialkova (The University of Haifa)
Maria Yelenevskaya (Technion, Israel Institute of Technology)
Tower A, Piso 0, Room 2
Start time:
19 April, 2011 at 11:30 (UTC+0)
Session slots:

Short Abstract:

Urban spaces act as arenas of lifestyle competition. The main nodes of ethno-cultural enclaves establish the uniqueness of minority groups and maintain their identity. What codes make these nodes transparent/undecipherable for outsiders? Do narrative spaces of various groups merge or remain isolated?

Long Abstract

In the period of globalization and mass migration world cities have become multicultural, but constituent cultures do not always act in unison. Urban spaces turn into arenas in which different lifestyles interact and compete. Ethnic enclaves may be found on the periphery and in the city centre turning the inner city into a social periphery.

What spaces serve as the primary nodes of ethno-cultural enclaves? What emotions do they evoke among members of majority and minority groups? What policies and patterns of group behaviour make them friendly meeting places that serve as the source of mutual enrichment, or turn them into sites of conflict and alienation?

Narrative spaces, such as churches and temples, museums and memorials, ethnic restaurants and shops are utilized to establish the uniqueness of a specific group and contribute to the maintenance of its identity. Their symbolic role is not isolated from pragmatic goals of building the group's economic wellbeing and meeting everyday needs of its members. Urban ethnic enclaves are often exploited as sites of tourist attraction, but are they legible for outsiders? What codes and symbols are used to make them transparent, or conversely, undecipherable?

Narrative spaces are essential components of urban images. Their most prominent dimensions are visual, but sounds and smells also have a role in attracting or repelling outsiders. How do images of ethnic enclaves change, depending on the time of day and the season? Do narrative spaces of multicultural cities merge over time or remain isolated?

Accepted papers: