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Lovers of the Rose : Islamic Affect and the Politics of Commemoration in Turkish Museal Display

Janson, Torsten LU (2021)
Abstract (Swedish)
This chapter explores Hilye-i Şerif, the calligraphic description of the Prophet Muhammad—and its significance in current Turkish politics. With roots in Ottoman literature, art and Prophet devotion, this genre is currently witnessing a striking artistic innovativeness. Under the theme of Aşk-ı Nebi (Love for the Prophet), several public exhibitions have been organised within recent, state-run mevlid-festivals, commemorating the birth of the Prophet. Here, a recurring motif has been ‘the Rose of Muhammad’, symbolically compounding Muhammad’s human nature and prophethood. The calligraphic art hence is associated with devotional and mystic traditions. Bodily-masculine, floral-symbolic and textual-Quranic references creatively intersect in... (More)
This chapter explores Hilye-i Şerif, the calligraphic description of the Prophet Muhammad—and its significance in current Turkish politics. With roots in Ottoman literature, art and Prophet devotion, this genre is currently witnessing a striking artistic innovativeness. Under the theme of Aşk-ı Nebi (Love for the Prophet), several public exhibitions have been organised within recent, state-run mevlid-festivals, commemorating the birth of the Prophet. Here, a recurring motif has been ‘the Rose of Muhammad’, symbolically compounding Muhammad’s human nature and prophethood. The calligraphic art hence is associated with devotional and mystic traditions. Bodily-masculine, floral-symbolic and textual-Quranic references creatively intersect in visual/devotional objects of memory, affect and desire.

Concomitantly, the revival of calligraphic art carries political overtones. The exhibitions of devotional art have been orchestrated in central memory-sites such as Hagia Sophia and the Topkapı Palace Museum—contributing to the current sacralization of Turkish memory institutions and public-urban space. With a theoretical point of departure in new museology, nationalism, and memory studies, this chapter discusses the revitalisation of Turkish devotional art exhibition as part and parcel of a memory-political claim of the Ottoman heritage under the auspices of the AKP government. Empirically, it explores the broader political aspects of the museal-devotional landscape of Istanbul and probes into the textual and symbolic detail of contemporary Hilye-i Şerif calligraphy.
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organization
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Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding
publication status
in press
subject
host publication
Heritage, Aesthetics and Belonging : Gender in Turkish Neo-Ottomanism - Gender in Turkish Neo-Ottomanism
editor
Raudvere, Catharina
publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
2eee07cc-9b9a-4136-815f-36de71f744ba
date added to LUP
2021-03-28 17:18:33
date last changed
2021-03-29 10:14:08
@inbook{2eee07cc-9b9a-4136-815f-36de71f744ba,
  abstract     = {This chapter explores Hilye-i Şerif, the calligraphic description of the Prophet Muhammad—and its significance in current Turkish politics. With roots in Ottoman literature, art and Prophet devotion, this genre is currently witnessing a striking artistic innovativeness. Under the theme of Aşk-ı Nebi (Love for the Prophet), several public exhibitions have been organised within recent, state-run mevlid-festivals, commemorating the birth of the Prophet. Here, a recurring motif has been ‘the Rose of Muhammad’, symbolically compounding Muhammad’s human nature and prophethood. The calligraphic art hence is associated with devotional and mystic traditions. Bodily-masculine, floral-symbolic and textual-Quranic references creatively intersect in visual/devotional objects of memory, affect and desire. <br/><br/>Concomitantly, the revival of calligraphic art carries political overtones. The exhibitions of devotional art have been orchestrated in central memory-sites such as Hagia Sophia and the Topkapı Palace Museum—contributing to the current sacralization of Turkish memory institutions and public-urban space. With a theoretical point of departure in new museology, nationalism, and memory studies, this chapter discusses the revitalisation of Turkish devotional art exhibition as part and parcel of a memory-political claim of the Ottoman heritage under the auspices of the AKP government. Empirically, it explores the broader political aspects of the museal-devotional landscape of Istanbul and probes into the textual and symbolic detail of contemporary Hilye-i Şerif calligraphy. <br/>},
  author       = {Janson, Torsten},
  booktitle    = {Heritage, Aesthetics and Belonging : Gender in Turkish Neo-Ottomanism},
  editor       = {Raudvere, Catharina},
  language     = {eng},
  publisher    = {Palgrave Macmillan},
  title        = {Lovers of the Rose : Islamic Affect and the Politics of Commemoration in Turkish Museal Display},
  year         = {2021},
}