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Date: 2024
Abstract: Built from nothing on the Parisian periphery in the 1950s, the neighbourhood known as Les Flanades in Sarcelles is perhaps the single largest North African Jewish urban space in France. Though heavily policed since 2000, Les Flanades had been free from violence. However, on 20 July 2014, violence erupted close to the central synagogue (known as la grande syna’) during a banned pro-Palestinian march. The violence pitted protestors and residents against one another in a schematic Israel v. Palestine frame leading to confrontations between many descendants of North African Jews and Muslims. Using that moment as a strong indicator of a broken solidarity/affinity between people of North African descent, Everett’s article traces a process of de-racialization, amongst Jews in Les Flanades, through the use of place names. North African Jewish residents use the local names of first-, second- and third-generation residents for their neighbourhood, ranging from from Bab El-Oued (a suburb of Algiers), via un village méditerranéen (a Mediterranean village), to la petite Jérusalem (little Jerusalem). Using the lens of postcolonial and racialization theory—a lens seldomly applied to France, and even less so to Jews in France—and a hybrid methodology that combines ethnography with discursive and genealogical analyses, Everett traces the unevenness of solidarity/affinity between Muslim and Jewish French citizens of North African descent and the messy production of de-racialization. This approach involves looking at shifting landscapes and changing dynamics of demography, religiosity and security and describing some tendencies that resist these changes consciously or not. Examples include the re-appropriation of Arabic para-liturgy and an encounter with a lawyer from Sarcelles who has taken a stand in prominent racialized public legal contests.
Date: 2014
Author(s): Alexander, Philip
Date: 2016
Abstract: This research offers an original contribution to the study of contemporary klezmer
music by analysing it in relation to a particular urban environment. With its origins in a
largely destroyed Eastern European Jewish culture, contemporary klezmer is both
historically-grounded and paradoxically rootless, cut loose from geographical
specificity by the internationalism of its recent revival. Seeking to counteract the
music’s modern placeless-ness, this dissertation analyses the musical and spatial means
by which klezmer has been re-rooted in the distinctive material and symbolic conditions
of today’s Berlin. The theoretical framework takes in questions of cultural identity,
music and place, authenticities of tradition and instrumental practice, to show how this
transnational and syncretic music – with few historical ties to Berlin – can be
understood in relation to the city’s particular post-reunification bricolage aesthetic and
subversively creative everyday tactics. Beginning by mapping the criss-crossing
networks of musicians and their multiple artistic perspectives, the dissertation proceeds
through an exploration of the official and unofficial spaces within which these fluid
musical practices operate, leading onto ways that the city of Berlin is made manifest in
the music itself – how the city is interpellated sonically and textually. Processes of
musical transmission and education are analysed through the filters of tradition and
pedagogical ideologies, from which my own instrument, the piano accordion, is used as
a lens through which to uncover the balance between personal expression and
historically-informed performance. The final chapter looks at the relationship between
history, Jewish identity and music in the city. It explores the resonances between the
contested discourse of memorial and present-day cultural and musical production,
discovering how at times sound and music can act as a living sonic embodiment that
speaks against the silence of historical memory
Date: 2018
Date: 2008
Author(s): Sapritsky, Marina
Date: 2010
Abstract: Against the background of mass emigration, religious revival and social and political transformations in the former Soviet Union, specifically Ukraine, this thesis describes and analyses change and continuity in the Jewish way of life in contemporary Odessa. Odessan Jews - continuous residents and return migrants - engage in many different processes of identity formation and community building, negotiating Jewish traditions, values, practices and orientations. Through ethnographic analysis of individual and communal affairs, this thesis examines the everyday life of a post-Soviet ethnoreligious minority group open to competing cultural models, lifestyles and social norms that derive from different contexts: individual, family, community, city, state and transnational connections. Part I "Jewish life in Odessa: Memory and Contested History" focuses on the city's history and its legacy and myth as an open, cosmopolitan and Jewish city perceived as a "distinct place" within Russia, the Soviet Union and present-day Ukraine. These historical chapters not only provide the necessary background for understanding Odessa today but also challenge the highly negative and monolithic picture of Soviet Jewish experiences that often ignores the influences of specific urban cultures on the development of varying Jewish orientations. Part II "Jewish Revival: The View from Within and from Outside" concentrates on contemporary Odessa and focuses on the phenomena of local Jewish revival, mainly driven by international Jewish organizations and shaped by their differing agendas in the region. These chapters explore the various ways in which Odessan Jews selectively appropriate, explore and contest these new visions and practices of Jewish life that in effect offer an arena of novel orientations. At the same time, vital questions are posed about the overall goals and achievements of Jewish philanthropy projects in the former Soviet Union. Part III "Home in the Diaspora" deals with the processes of Jewish migration and analyses the various ways that continuous residents, visiting and returning Jews orient themselves to Odessa as a locale in relation to other destinations, including Israel, that partially define their sense of themselves as Odessan Jews. Chapter 7, in particular, poses the 3 question whether it is still meaningful to refer to Odessa as a Jewish city in the light of the changing demographics of its Jewish population and the altered status and orientation of the city's remaining Jews. In response, the thesis argues that Jewishness is envisioned as a metonym of cosmopolitan Odessa and that the fight for its recognition as a Jewish place is, by extension, a battle for the city's historically constituted - albeit diminished - cosmopolitanism