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Commemorational Presences in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv

Cover of the journal "Political Geography"

CMES researcher Mattias Kärrholm has authored an article published in the journal Political Geography.

The article, "Temporality, nationalism and the territorialisation of public space - Commemorational presences in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv", was published online on 26 May 2024.

The article is published as part of the MECW project Beyond Sacred/Secular Cities - Exploring Politics of Memory, Space, and Religion in Middle Eastern Nationalisms.


In this article, I investigate how material strategies of commemoration are part of the recategorisation of public space in a series of nationalistic projects in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. I look especially at the different ways in which these commemorative territories are made present, and the specific view of history that these presences entail. The studied cases include for example the transformation of a public square into a ‘memorial square’ (Rabin Square), of a religious space into a ‘space of national significance’ (Western Wall Plaza), and of part of an urban district into a ‘archaeological excavation’ and a ‘tourist theme park’ (City of David). In the article, I trace and conceptualise five temporal modalities (or temporal perspectives) and discuss their related material designs. Finally, I discuss how studying these modalities can be fertile for exploring how memorials play a part in producing and stabilising different kinds of nationalist affects and sentiments.

Read the article