TRANS Internet-Zeitschrift für Kulturwissenschaften 17. Nr. Juni 2012

Sektion 8.5. The Urbanity of the World and the Dividing of Cities
Sektionsleiter | Section Chair: Mariana Neţ ("Iorgu Iordan – Al. Rosetti" Institute of Linguistics, Bucharest, Romania)

Dokumentation | Documentation | Documentation

Liminal Places of Memor(ies): The Etzel Museum in Tel Aviv

Izhak Schnell [BIO] and Madeleine Schechter [BIO] (Tel Aviv University, Israel)

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The article underscores the need to pay more attention to the silent voices of users of places and passers-by in interpreting their meanings. We argue that while builders represent elite worldviews serving their intent to build and maintain hegemony, users may gain the power to dominate the meanings of places. Liminal places have the potential to become cores of such new creative meanings that may undermine builders' meanings, and at times even cores of new identities that may threaten societal hegemony structures. We test these ideas as applied to the case of the Etzel Museum located in liminal space between Arab Jaffa and Jewish Tel Aviv. It memorializes the Jewish victory over the Palestinian indigenous population in the Israeli War of Independence. A comparison between interpretations of the beholder's eye, builders and passers-by reveals the power of the building to determine some meanings that spring from the building's distinctively liminal status, and the weakness of the building to allow for the emergence of a hub of different meanings around the common significational core. We show also that passers-by were able to adopt independent meanings for the place despite the fact that they were aware of the building's officially inscribed meaning. This demonstrates the need to assign a key salience to users' readings and interpretations in the study of place.



The aim of this article is to explore a specific place, the Etzel Museum in Tel Aviv, as a liminal place of individual and collective cultural identities and memories of the Jewish and Arab communities, from the theoretical perspective opened up by liminality and hybridity. The museum's architecture is embedded within the formal and ideological conception of modernism and expresses overpowering nationalism. Thus, one may expect to experience a vision of homogeneity according to modernist principles. This would be the image of an organic whole, harmoniously uniting the material and the formal levels, placed in the natural environment, successfully fulfilling its function and revealing the embodied meanings.

However, as we shall show, the encounter between the visitor and the museum, while highly intriguing, is disturbing, as from the architectural perspective, the building and its surroundings reveal features whose co-presence situate it between formalist modernism and open eclecticism, and as such, create a new manifold that affords a bundle of meanings.

This article proposes to approach the analysis of the museum's formal features and their meanings by using liminality and hybridity as analytic tools. This choice can be better understood against the background of debates in Israeli geography and architecture, which mainly revolve around the allegedly well-established boundaries between Jewish and Arab/Palestinian identities and the places that speak for them. As a case study, we shall describe the Etzel Museum, located between Jewish Tel Aviv and Arab Jaffa, an area which is here described as a liminal (hybrid) place of memor(ies) and identities. In investigating the architectural and environmental aspects and their emerging meanings, we shall refer to three levels of interpretation: the building and its environment as a basis for the first experience of the subject; the canonical narrative as it is presented to visitors to the building and the exhibition in the museum; and, lastly, the alternative lived narratives, based on open interviews with passers-by.

Thus, instead of viewing this built environment as being structured and, consequently, interpreted in terms of categorical oppositions, which connect natural and cultural spaces within a temporal perspective and the human identities defined by these spaces, we propose to reveal the dynamics that occur between various contexts of differences. The aim is to interpret the multiple and often contradictory messages that the museum seems to evoke, as genuine aspects of a multifaceted culture that incessantly refines the differences through overlap and displacement, and thus initiates new grounds for collaboration.

First, this approach deals with the formal organization of the Etzel Museum as a cultural symbol, which includes the articulation of form and material into an image, and the latter's relation to the surrounding natural/built environment; second, with the relationship between these complex meanings, which in this case include the canonical and the emerging narratives of the museum; and lastly, with the relations of signs and symbols to their users, as they are revealed on the basis of interviews with perceivers from both the Jewish and the Arab communities.

We shall describe changes in the traditional conceptions of places and propose to replace them with a liminal or hybrid view better suited to the globalization era. Thus, we suggest that the opening of spatial boundaries entails the formation of a new structuration of places that actualize a kind of threshold, instead of the earlier determinate borders. Liminality (hybridity) subverts categorical oppositions of the national modernist project, that which opposes the "we" and the "others", and hence creates the conditions for cultural reflexivity from which new discourses may arise for Jewish-Arab relations in Israel.


Transformations in the Concept of Place

The concept of place in geography and architecture was highly influenced by Heideggerian and existentialist philosophy, following scholars like Norberg-Schulz and Relph(1). Overcoming the traditional modernist discourse that focused on form and therefore on questions of style, phenomenological theorists inquire into the fundamental basis of the human condition and its meaningful achievement, and as such, architecture and space are conceived from the vantage point of lived experience. The phenomenological approach to space draws on Heidegger's ontological idea of "being-in-the-world" or "dwelling," which goes beyond the spatial-categorical meaning and underlines the worldishness of man's condition as being essentially constituted within a relational-complex. As King explained:

Man cannot be "in space" as an extended thing but only in the way appropriate to himself as being-in-the-world: he discloses space in relating himself to things by way of undistancing them and directing them to [...] what Heidegger, in a strictly ontological sense, calls "being-in" is concretely experienced by us as "living-in", or "moving-in", or "being-at-home-in." All these phrases express the same meaning: staying-close-to, being-familiar-with ..., in-habiting [both in the sense of habituation and dwelling] ... a world of this that specific character.(2)

In turn, Norberg-Schulz makes use of the ancient Roman idea of genius loci, the protective spirit of specific places and buildings. Thus, in his opinion, dwelling becomes the experience of being at peace in a protected place. While talking of "The Phenomenon of Place," genius loci is used as a metaphor for the definite, homely, authentic sense of place:

We have used the word "dwelling" to denote the total man-place relationship. [...] When man dwells, he is simultaneously located in space and exposed to a certain environmental character. The two psychological functions involved, may be called "orientation" and "identification". [...] Without reducing the importance of orientation, we have to stress that dwelling above all presupposes identification with the environment. [...]. Human identity presupposes the identity of place. [...] Architecture comes into being when a "total environment is made visible" [...]. The basic art of archiecture is therefore to understand the "vocation" of the place. [...] To belong to a place means to have an existential foothold, in a concrete everyday sense.(3)

In sum, it may be said that the phenomenological stance, while enhancing the existential interaction between space and human beings, inescapably projects a vision of space as a unitary and protected entity, and as such, also affords an authentic, living, well-structured space exhibiting particular qualities. Moreover, these closely bounded units of space embedded within cohesive sets of cultural meanings fuse community and nature into a whole in an authentic way. This would finally lead to a conception of places as a kind of imprisonment for those who share them.(4)

However, in the long run, Heidegger's invaluable contribution to architectural theory, beyond the cardinal conception of the space as that place in which man's authentic being-in-the-world is constituted, also emphasized the relevance of limits and borders on three interrelated levels, starting from the physical-geographical properties of space: first, in the fact that man is "spatial," i.e., in an active way, he unveils space and as such defines relational qualities of this spatiality; second, in the process of dwelling or being-in-the world, a manifestation of human condition and its social order is revealed; and, finally, on the level of architectural discourse and its intertextual inclusion in, and influence on, the web of cultural discourses.

On the other hand, some postmodern and poststructuralist thinkers initiated an exploration of inner vs. outer space/place. For example, Foucault, in his "Of Other Spaces: Utopias and Heterotopias," embarks on a problematization of the phenomenological homely space's enclosure as a basic condition of peace, protection and authenticity. Starting from the observation that phenomenologists' descriptions of space, although conceived of as being "saturated with qualities," are confined to the inner space, he chooses to analyze the space as heterogeneous and to focus on the "set of relationships that define positions which cannot be equated or in any way superimposed".(5) Among the spatial arrangements and sets of relationships defining them, he isolates those "which are endowed with the curious property of being in relation with all the others, but in such a way as to suspend, neutralize or invert the set of relationships designed, reflected or mirrored by themselves." These spaces are of two general types: utopias and heterotopias. Utopia can be seen as a kind of inner space since it "represents society itself," while heterotopia is a "sort of place that lies outside all places and yet is actually localizable. In contrast with the utopias, these spaces which are absolutely other with respect to all the arrangements that they reflect and of which they speak might be described as heterotopias."

In exploring the heterotopias, Foucault reveals a number of principles and features that characterize heterotopias, the most intriguing of which is perhaps the fifth one: "Heterotopias always presuppose a system of opening and closing that isolates them and makes them penetrable at one and the same time." In other words, these "other places," which co-exist with the protected, homely places (although approached by society as places of crisis and deviance, either forbidden or sacred), make visible limits with their potential transgressions as a condition of limitation itself. As Foucault observes:

The limit and transgression depend on each other for whatever density of being they possess: a limit could not exist if it were absolutely uncrossable and, reciprocally, transgression would be pointless if it merely crossed a limit composed of illusions and shadows. [...]

Transgression is an action which involves the limit, that narrow zone of a line where it displays the flash of its passage, but perhaps also its entire trajectory, even its origin.(6)

It can be said that the limit or border, as a constitutive feature of space/place, is also conceived of as a definitional feature of the individual/collective identity. Limit appears as a concept that maps our knowledge, starting from the physical, psychological, and social-political cultural categories, through values or states of affairs and to the most general descriptions of reality. This possibility emerges precisely from the immanent connection between the limit and its transgression, which creates an in-between space, whose presence can first be perceived on the geographical level, yet encloses deep aspects of the human experience and their cultural codifications, whose meanings became the focus of cultural debates between modernism and postmodernism. It is not by chance that "classical" postmodern texts use ad hoc coined terms in order to point to blurring of borders between the domains of differences as characterizing the postmodern. In this context, one can cite Ihab Hassan's "indetermanence," which, in an inconclusive way, combines indeterminacy and immanence(7). In turn, Lyotard emphasizes that the postmodern is in a "nascent state, and this state is constant"(8); as such, the limits are not only dialectally coexistent with their transgression but there is an incessant displacement of what can be described/presented, i.e., limited, toward the unpresentable or the unattainable:

The postmodern would be that which, in the modern, puts forward the unpresentable in presentation itself; that which denies itself the solace of good forms, the consensus of a taste which would make it possible to share collectively the nostalgia for the unattainable; that which searches for new presentations, not in order to enjoy them but in order to impart a stronger sense of the unpresentable.(9)

Since the last decade of the 20th century, the question of places in the cultural sense of the term, i.e., as constitutive of identity, and the way their multivalent meanings are constructed has mainly been conceived as being grounded in the topic of limit or border and described in terms of a new pair of concepts – regionalization and globalization – and their tensioned relationship. Similarly, phenomenology refers to the homeland as an authentic and safely circumscribed space protected by the genius loci; globalization is seen by some scholars as a highly contested concept, an economical, political, ideological "threat" to any bounded place like the nation-state. However, other analysts propose to consider globalization as a multifaceted phenomenon whose impact led to irreversible changes in the world we live in. Moreover, in a recent interview suggestively entitled "Inescapably Side by Side," David Held describes the relationship between global and regional processes in terms of a paradoxical transgression and preservation of the limits of nation-states:

I think that globalization creates global systemic challenges to our humanity, to our global commons and to our rulebooks which can't be dealt with by single nation-state acting alone. In that sense I think we no longer live in what I call 'national communities of fate'. I use the phrase 'overlapping communities of fate', where the fates of nations are increasingly intertwined with one another. And that is true in economics; it is true in communications, in the environment and so on.(10)

The power and the dilemmas surrounding categories such as class, race, ethnicity and gender, become more pressing in the era of globalization which abolishes the boundness of the nation-state, a fact that evokes Foucault's notion that only limit qua limit activates its transgression.

We contend that the balance between limit and its transgression has been dramatically shifted by globalization. Several social scientists tend to relate to the network society, which may overcome the friction of space by mastering telecommunication as a tool to develop global networks, worldviews and identities.(11) Accordingly, places are re-conceptualized into intersections of networks that may gather into local as well as global networks. Such places may be open-ended with no boundaries, freed from the limits of their close environments and defined by the characteristics of the participants in the network.(12) But a new understanding of places as "glocal" is today emerging.(13) Gilboa shows how shopping malls may operate as places on a set of scales, with the local and the global contexts simultaneously represented on each scale.(14) This creates a novel and fragile balance between limit and its transgression.

The fragmentation of social identities into complex repertoires of social, as well as individual identities,(15) stimulated a new body of critical thought that focuses on the involvement of more than one community in shaping places. An intriguing aspect of this phenomenon is that of a community whose members bring with them a rich repertoire of identities, which in turn shape a richer, complex identity of the place and its inhabitants.(16) Globalization of everyday life can be perceived as being constituted through intercultural, albeit tensioned, contacts, from which new (in the sense of transitional, or negotiable) meanings of places continuously emerge, revealing the processes of cultural co-existence of agents who carry on their daily lives and social identities in these places. First, the perception of the places underlines the shift from closeness to openness and even to hybridization, a shift that can also be discerned on the level of practices adopted in manipulating spaces. Second, instead of being deciphered according to traditionally binary cultural codes and, as such, belonging to domains of clear-cut differences, the meanings of places are constructed within the interstices where the categorical differences are blurred, overlap and are even displaced.

The term 'in-between', which literally describes a spatial relation and includes both cognitive and linguistic aspects, in recent decades has become a powerful model or metaphor that organizes our conceptual thinking about limit and the changes in its definition and role, from the physical-geographical description of places to cultural identity, as they are irreducibly connected. When applied to the analysis of spaces, the term combines a geographical objective dimension and a construction of the self, a subjective dimension. According to Bhabha, "These 'in-between' spaces provide the terrain for elaborating strategies of selfhood – singular or communal – that initiate new signs of identity and innovative states of collaboration, and contestation, in the act of defining the idea of society itself."(17)

"In-between" has become a common denominator for the theoretical approaches that replace earlier well-established conceptual and organizational categories, posited as dichotomies and hierarchically distributed, with a quest for those cultural forms and their symbols that are in a state of transition, and whose interpretations can unveil new kinds of meanings, in which the unfolding dynamics between continuities and discontinuities afford the possibility of perceiving new relationships.


Liminal and Hybrid Places

This section deals with two germane, yet not identical, critical terms, liminality and hybridity, which are key concepts in various fields of research such as anthropology, sociology, literary theory, mentalities, cultural geography and architecture. Within the postmodern intellectual project, hybridity seems to offer a preferential conceptual alternative to relocate the main stances of cultural criticism from the post-colonial perspective. In referring to the liminal or hybrid aspects of places, we take into account the intricate relationship between the built environment and human identities to describe an urban threshold, rather than clear-cut borders between dichotomist entities.

The multiple uses of these increasingly fashionable terms, mainly used as heuristic models in the analysis of culture, are based on the concept of limit that spans related senses, from the physical limit that divides places, organisms, and objects, to boundaries between categories and conceptual schemas within a certain culture. In other words, insofar as liminality and hybridity bring to the fore the transitional, the ambiguous and the paradoxical, on the most general level, they enhance the problem of categorization, which requires an uneasy combination of logical, linguistic and ontological analysis.

In Western tradition, the limit appears in Greek philosophy, where peras is connected to the problem of the continuum; in the general sense, limit marks the end of a region in space, also indicating the suppression of all separations. Thus, in the literal sense, limit is a purely physical concept, being the place where a certain reality, i.e. thing or territory, ends. However, from the beginning, the term had a complex sense, since limit exists only in connection with a "before" and a "beyond." Thus, the interest in the limits of categories and their transition or transgression is the hallmark of a certain epistemological shift, whose focus is not on limit as border but on limit as threshold (which both connects and separates creating a kind of a "third space," in Bhabha's formulation), and as such, can be described as in-betweeness (in Turner's term).

This perspective will be further analyzed through a set of terms – liminal, liminoid and liminality – that were first used in anthropology. They describe entities, states, and cultural processes and their symbolic elaborations and presentations, which exist in-between domains, and therefore, in-between otherwise distinct categories. In this respect, the biological hybrids, which are the result of cross-breeding between two individuals belonging different species or races, can be seen as the natural model of liminal states or entities in the cultural domain.

As critical concepts, the history of liminal and liminality is linked to the work of anthropologist Arnold van Gennep, Les rites de passage (1908), whose main theme was the analysis of ceremonies accompanying an individual's "life crises," that he called "rites de passage". In time, the term "passage" began to be considered the best suited for transition.(18)

In the second half of the 20th century, the scientific contribution of Victor Turner can be viewed as the most important in the field. Although he began his research with tribal societies, following van Gennep, he extended the use of liminality and of the socio-cultural properties of the liminal period and state to the study of liminal features that characterize both individuals and collectivities. Subsequently he related to symbolic genres that belong not only to small societies but also to large-scale ones, including the complex social structures of Western culture. He introduced the term liminoid, which is akin, without being identical, to liminal. A detailed comparison between them can be found in From Ritual to Theatre: The Human Seriousness of Play (1982). According to Turner, the liminoid describes the social processes and their symbolic forms that undermine the well-established structures, and denotes those "anti-," "meta-"and "proto-structural" states specific to modern industrial societies.(19) The pair of terms, liminal and liminoid, is of utmost importance as it enables an investigation of the relationships between cultural symbols and their referents, i.e. meanings, not only in tribal rituals but also in verbal and non-verbal Western cultural genres of expressive culture such as drama, literature, sculpture, painting, music, architecture, etc.

Moreover, although liminality or marginality would appear at first glance to be loss of power and vitality suggested by their localization on the "edge," liminality is in fact a powerful source of creativity, generating symbolic forms of culture from rituals, mythologies and works of art, and analytic tools in terms of root metaphors or models of reality. Although liminality "is a temporal interface whose properties partially invert those of the already consolidated order which constitutes any specific cultural cosmos",(20) early in his book The Ritual Process: Structure and Anti-Structure (1969), while working out the well known coinage "betwixt and between," Turner focuses on liminal or threshold personae whose identity is marked by this state of transition. Thus Turner underlines the cardinal role played by liminality in undermining social definitions, i.e. cultural categorizations, usually posited in terms of pairs of opposites, either/or. In this respect:

The attributes of liminality or of liminal personae ("threshold people") are necessarily ambiguous, since this condition and these persons elude or slip through the network of classifications that normally locate states and positions in cultural space. Liminal entities are neither here nor there; they are betwixt and between the positions assigned and arrayed by law, custom, convention, and ceremonial. As such, their ambiguous and indeterminate attributes are expressed by a rich variety of symbols in the many societies that ritualize social and cultural transitions.(21)

A final definitional term for liminal and liminality, like ambiguity and paradox, is play, which first designates, on the concrete level, the various cultural practices that, in the liminal phase of culture, perform numberless and unexpected kinds of inconclusive, transitional or transgressive interactions between entities belonging to different realms and their symbolic forms. Thus, according to Tuner, "in liminality people 'play' with the elements of the familiar and defamiliarize them. Novelty emerges from unprecedented combinations of familiar elements".(22)

The dynamic character of liminality challenges the categorization of socio-cultural processes in terms of binary oppositions, and as such has far-reaching consequences in the construction of meaning (basically understood as an abstract relation between symbolic representations and objective reality). The accent on differences and oppositions at the same time implies a reference to the limit between categories and their symbols. On the contrary, both liminal and liminoid states and their symbolic representations are not merely multi-vocal or multivalent, but are articulated within an in-between zone (they imply each other in order to be identified), which blurs the categorical distinctions (either/or), without reducing them to a synthesis of opposites.

Although cultural hybridity is a critical term almost identical to liminality, it enlarges the framework of the discussion by focusing on a set of connected issues whose core is the question of identity, such as ethnicity, community, nation, race, gender and globalization or localization. All of these are also part of the agenda of cultural geography and, consequently, of architecture. It may be said that, as the awareness of threshold problematizes the definiteness of the limit qua limit, by positing the latter in a dialectical relation with its transgression, the hybrid, born out of the transgression of the boundary between natural species, first undermines every organic theory of identity. From here emerges a considerable array of ideas, which provide an invaluable contribution to the theory of liminality (whose main concern is marginality, i.e. threshold, according to Turner), by concentrating, through the model of the hybrid, on the question of identity in the postmodern context, which acknowledges the multiple sense of self. It is obvious that liminality and hybridity are complementary notions, insofar as any process of hybridization implies, as a necessary requirement, the replacement or transgression of the limits between categories with a threshold or a spatial-temporal interface.

In the past, the role of liminal and liminality was to shatter the social structures and reveal the positive and negative power of the spatio-temporal interface that undermines the traditional categories, or in-betweeness as the source of creativity in a society. Currently, the focus on hybridity occurs after this process of demolition has been accomplished and, in an age of "blurred genres," hybrid is just another name to describe how things usually are. This means that we have to work out the theory of cultural hybridity starting from hybridity itself, as an encompassing cultural phenomenon, present in all areas of cultural praxis. Even a brief glance at the book Debating Cultural Hybridity: Multi-Cultural Identities and the Politics of Anti-Racism (1997), a timely and comprehensive anthology of articles, highlights the main themes and directions of research, which involve the topic of cultural hybridity in an age of cultural complexity. In her introductory study, Pnina Werbner shows that hybridity, otherwise described in the same terms as liminality, was a powerful analytical tool as long as culture was defined according to systematic categories for highlighting the role played by the "symbolic hybrids to subvert categorical oppositions and hence to create the conditions for cultural reflexivity and change".(23) However, in postmodern culture, multiplicity, mixing, complexity, indefiniteness, and transgression became the dominant organizational and conceptual forms of culture:

But what if cultural mixing and crossovers become routine in the context of globalising trends?" asks the author "Does that obviate the hybrid's transgressive power? And if not, how is postmodernist theory to make sense, at once, of both sides, both routine hybridity and transgressive power? Even more, what do we mean by cultural hybridity when identity is built in the face of postmodern uncertainties that render even the notion of strangerhood meaningless? When culture itself, all cultural categories, are [...] reflexively in doubt, unstable and lacking cognitive faith or conviction? How do the subjects of (post)modern nation-states respond to such ambivalences and the sheer efflorescence of cultural products, ethnicities and identities?(24)

Thus, this new heuristic model for the study of multi-, trans-, and cross-culturalism tries to solve the "puzzle of how cultural hybridity manages to be both transgressive and normal, and why it is experienced as dangerous, difficult or revitalizing despite its quotidian normalcy".(25) Below, we will underline several aspects of cultural hybridity that are relevant to the analysis of the Etzel Museum and its cultural significations, from a vantage point that will deliberately refuse to obviate the questions of insoluble ideological conflicts, and from a formalist one, which moves away from these deep-rooted differences in the name of modernist aestheticism.

Cultural hybridity is embedded in ambivalences of all imaginable kinds, such as in the co-existence of anti-essentialism with a reinforced notion of ethnic communities; in developing cultural changes and resisting changes in ethnic or migrant groups and nation-states; in the co-presence in an era of heterophilia and heteroglossia of some dominant, i.e. essentialist, discourses; in anthropological research, which reveals that culture as a complex whole also perpetuates earlier notions of race, to name but a few. In general, the authors connect definitions of postmodern subjectivity or identity in terms of hybrid, the search for meanings, and the way in which new symbols concerning the question of identity and its related areas occur. In this context, we shall shortly mention some of the strategies proposed by different authors involved in the actual debates dealing with cultural hybridity, which are consistent with our own approach to an alternative analysis of the architecture of the Etzel Museum and its historical-political signification.

Werbner concludes her study with a project for future research by saying:

The challenge, then, is to develop processual models of hybridity to replace the current stress on contingent hybridity, a self-congratulatory discourse which leads nowhere. In order to do so we must start from the understanding that in Europe today, neither nations nor the nation's ethnic "margins" are homogenous; both are battlegrounds of contested moralities. The center, far from being monological, has its own official forms of institutionalised dissent and indigenous rituals of rebellion [...]. We need to consider precisely what it is that cultural hybridity and essentialism from the margins do in this context. Even if we think that they expose the transparency of ethnocentric hegemonic cultural assumptions, we have to recognize the differential interests social groups have in sustaining boundaries. [...] Again, a focus on hybridisation as process reveals the fissions in the margin: strategies of co-optation, resistance or genuine fusions divide the margins to create the crosscutting ties between center and margin and the periodic moral panics that demonise margin and center dialectically.(26) [emphasis added]

Hans-Rudolf Wicker, in "From Complex Culture to Cultural Complexity," using the Creole model, also reaches the conclusion that "culture – far from being a complex whole in the form of identifiable structures or significations – exists only in its variations and transitions".(27) In a way that recalls Werbner's accent on processuality, Wicker further emphasizes that culture manifests itself through the ability to take meaningful intersubjective action. He continues:

A conception which replaces the principle of culture as a reality sui generis is by a principle of semiotic practice [...] – culture as a set of specific disposition, acquired by individuals in the process of living, which permits the intersubjective formations of signification and meaningful action – has far-reaching consequences for the current controversy surrounding the question of multiculturalism. [...] Because meanings are negotiated directly in (political, social and economic) practice, integration in analytical terms can no longer be described as the change from one cultural system to another. Instead, integration becomes a social field of interaction in itself. (28) [emphasis added]

Close to this processual or interactive view of hybridity is Homi B. Bhabha's view of negotiation of differences in production of identity in his influential book, The Location of Culture. Both in his general conceptions and in terminology, Bhabha preserves the basic spatio-temporal conception of liminality, yet introduces the term hybridity in order to explain the way in which identities are formed, i.e. at the interstices between older domains of differences. The transformative, processual and inconclusive formation of what he describes as "border lives," is not the outcome of some pre-given states of affairs, but at one and the same time an incessant negotiation simultaneously leading to new cultural traits characterized by fluid and "hybrid" combinations and the dissemination of the primary conceptual categories such as "class" and "gender" into a multitude of the subject positions, i.e. differences, and their claim for identity.

What is theoretically innovative and politically crucial is the need to think beyond narratives of originary and initial subjectivities and to focus on those moments or processes that are produced in the articulation of cultural differences. [...] It is in the emergence of the interstices – the overlap and displacement of domains of differences – that the intersubjectivities and collective experiences of nationness, community interest, or cultural values are negotiated [...]. Terms of cultural engagement, whether antagonistic and affiliative, are produced performatively. [...] The social articulation of difference, from the minority perspective, is a complex, on-going negotiation that seeks to authorize cultural hybridities that emerge in moments of historical transformation.(29)

It may be said that, although the study of hybridity, such as that developed by Bhabha, refers to the colonial and post-colonial debates, the theoretical strategies can be successfully mutatis mutandis applied to the analysis of other kinds of interactions, transgression, negotiation of cultural identities, individual and collective, starting from the suspicion and abolishment of the traditional binarism with its categorical and hierarchic organization of culture in terms of either/or and to adopt new models such as both/and or neither/nor. This last definition of hybridity is highly consistent with Turner's own position, on the processual continuum of order-disorder.

In the following section, we analyze the cultural significations of the Etzel Museum in light of cultural liminality and hybridity, discussing both environmental aspects of culture and questions of cultural identity, individual and collective.


The Etzel Museum: A Modernist View

In the first part of this section, we shall present the history of the Etzel Museum and its meanings according to the vision of its founders and architects. The museum, which commemorates the Zionist victory over the Palestinians in 1948, is located in an open space on the borderline that once separated the Palestinian city of Jaffa and the new Jewish city of Tel-Aviv. Around the building, a garden was designed on a sandstone hill along the beach. Its style is free and spontaneous to invoke the nature of an idealized coastline, but is still reminiscent of a natural landscape. Since the end of the nineteenth century, when the first residents began to settle areas outside the walls of the old city of Jaffa, the area, known as Manshia, had been populated by lower class Muslims. The neighborhood developed as a long narrow strip of poor sandstone houses along the beach (Map 1). As a frontier neighborhood, Manshia was in the front lines during the 1948 war. It was completely destroyed and as it was considered inadequate for the resettlement of Jewish refugees, it remained abandoned until the 1960s. In 1963, the municipality decided to build a high-rise business and commercial center in the northeastern part of the neighborhood and a large park as part of the coastal promenade in the west. In 1976, a group of veterans of the Etzel revisionist underground movement that fought the British and who carried out the main battle against the Palestinians in Jaffa, asked to build a memorial to the Etzel soldiers who died in the conquest of Jaffa. They found the ruins of a half destroyed building located in the heart of the 1948 battle site. Architects Amnon Niv, Amnon Schwartz and Danny Schwartz(30), also veterans of the Etzel, decided to transform the ruins into a museum that would tell the heroic story of the site. They tried to freeze the moment of victory by preserving the old ruin as much as possible, negating it with a modern top and unifying the old and the new into one whole. The interior was planned as a museum that documented the story of the battle.

In the middle of the large green park between Jaffa, the old Arab city, and Tel-Aviv, the new Jewish city, the unique structure of the museum stands out as a highly visible landmark. The building's visual impact is due to its natural and built environment and architectural style, both symbolically suggesting the contrast between two different worlds. The rich textures of the partly curved sandstone and the well-balanced distribution of decorative elements draw the eye of the beholder to the lower part of the building. The other part with its clean geometric shape of thin smooth dark glass maintains its minor presence and subordinate status compared to the stony foundation. The minimalist glass construction seems to be there only to point to the beauty of the old Arab building, glorifying its appearance in the open landscape between Tel-Aviv and Jaffa. On the other hand, the upper position of the modern glass construction may symbolize the control of the modern dynamic Jewish construction over the heavy lower traditional part.

Located on the crest of the uneven landscape, the building seems to grow out of nature as a continuation of the natural stone but at the same time, the grassy garden threatens to separate it from its natural environment. Thus, the building appears to be a remnant of an old landscape that was erased by the new Zionist hegemony. In this sense, the museum is an extraordinary case that emphasizes the ordinary way of clearing space and that symbolizes the victory of the new culture over the old.

At this point, we have to remember that urban landscapes cannot be understood only in terms of current visual spaces, but also represent the city's temporality.(31) In this case, the building brings to life a chapter of the city's history, transforming the building into a monument reminiscent of the Zionist victory over the Arab struggle for a Palestinian state but also, cynically, as reminiscent of the Arab history in the city. The building and the adjacent "Hassan Beck" mosque are the only remnants of the Muslim quarter of Manshia, whose original Palestinian population was forced to become refugees in neighboring Arab countries. The mosque was not destroyed after the Moslem Wakf (the religious organization that manages Muslim lands) appealed to the Supreme Court.

The architects who designed the museum explained their intention in four points: 1) An attempt to freeze the moment in which Jaffa was freed; 2) Maintaining the Arab building's authenticity; 3) Complementing the old Arab ruin with a modern glass and aluminum construction and unifying them into a whole; 4) Designing the building as an environmental sculpture in a way that could capture the old-new story of the city.(32)

The narrative of the exhibition,(33) which the building houses, supplements the historical evidence and enhances the architects' explanation. The story is told to visitors through documents, brochures and testimonies of Etzel veterans and includes five elements that we shall briefly describe:(34)

Setting: The story takes place during the last weeks of the British Mandate in the Land of Israel in 1948. Manshia was the main front between the Jewish and the Arab districts. 1500 Muslim volunteers from Iraq, Lebanon and Bosnia occupied the front lines together with the Arabs of Jaffa. On the Jewish side, the main forces, led by the "Hagana" (the major Jewish underground), obeyed the restrictions of the British Mandate government that allowed only defensive measures.

The drama: More than anything else, the leaders of the Etzel were afraid that the Egyptian navy would land in Jaffa using the Palestinian stronghold as a bridge to conquer the Jewish heartland. Meanwhile, the situation continued to deteriorate. According to the brochure, within five months, 1000 Jews were either killed or wounded by deadly Arab fire, and many thousands were evacuated from their homes near the Arab quarter. The "Hagana" continued to restrict its actions due to British regulations. Life throughout Tel-Aviv was described in the brochure as a nightmare.

Decision: At this point, the Etzel took what was according to the narrative a brave and responsible decision to save the Jewish citizens of Tel-Aviv and the state-in-the-making. They estimated that the British forces would not intervene shortly before the date they were to leave the country. Two British ammunition stores were broken into and troops from all over Israel gathered to attack the Palestinian stronghold in Manshia, also overcoming the fear of British intervention.

Action: A brave and cunning battle held back the Arab forces. Several highly determined fighters cut the Palestinian lines in the vicinity of the museum. During the first two days, they failed because of the superior Arab forces, supported by troops from other fronts and by British armor, but in a second attempt, their clever and original strategy overcame the enemy forces. Unlike the deadly Palestinian bullets that killed, the Etzel raid on the center of old Jaffa only caused panic among the Arabs. The Etzel fighters stood successfully against several counter attacks initiated by British units and external Arab forces until the final victory.

Immediate consequences: When the Etzel soldiers cut off the Manshia neighborhood, all the Arab and volunteer forces withdrew to the old city of Jaffa. Veteran soldiers tried to run away but new Arab reinforcements fought them. In the chaos created by the heavy Israeli raid and the clashes, the Muslim volunteers began to rob and rape Palestinian women.

Long-term consequences: In May, several meetings led to the surrender of Jaffa after most of the Arab population had fled the city for Gaza, where they became refugees. Jaffa was integrated into the Jewish city of Tel Aviv.

The narrative underlines the meaning assigned to the building as a monument to the victory of one civilization over the other, a victory that grants the conqueror the right to abolish the former cultural landscape. It celebrates the heroic stance and the superiority of one ethos, the modernist, Zionist colonizing one, over the traditional Arab/Palestinian one. The canonical narrative also includes an element of catharsis, exonerating Etzel forces from responsibility for the disastrous outcome of the battle for the Palestinians.

At this stage, the Etzel museum appears to be the embodiment of two irreconcilable states of affairs: the celebratory chronicle of the past and the homogenizing affirmation of the present. Its modernist architecture becomes a visible symbolic mark of insurmountable borders between two cultures engaged in a historical conflict over supremacy over the land (which also entails the fixity of identities), a conflict which denies any hope for a future dialogue between them. However, another hermeneutic strategy can be developed from the perspectives opened up by liminality or hybridity and their power to subvert categorical oppositions (traditionally posited in terms of either/or), and to transgress or negotiate cultural differences, in order to investigate the difficult yet possible co-existence of both co-existence and resistance to co-existence (in terms of both/and or neither/nor).


The Etzel Museum as a Negotiatory Model of Israeli Culture

At this stage, we suggest to explore the museum and its environment in the perception of the beholder, as being, at one and the same time, an integral part of Tel Aviv, yet still preserving the original differences between old Jaffa and new Tel Aviv. In this case, the Etzel museum would represent a physical threshold and not a border, which problematizes the acknowledged dichotomy of present vs. past, and opens an interstitial perspective, i.e. that of cultural liminality or hybridity, a space of in-conclusiveness, the matrix of some profound revelations and reinscriptions of identities. Thus, the replacement of "borders" by "thresholds" is by no means a simple semantic revision but an epistemological shift (a heuristic model) to approaching culture and its processes, not as a clash of opposites or their synthesis but as self-critical reflexive processing of the interstitial spaces in-between different cultural discourses. As we observed, the threshold as a cultural concept is of the utmost relevance, according to Turner, in providing "models or paradigms which are, at one level periodical reclassifications of reality (or at least of social experience) and man's relationship to society, nature, and culture".(35) This kind of perception is basically an aesthetic experience, understood in the wider sense and, beyond the attention to purely formal features, includes some human values. In other words, the environment's appreciation is based here on the belief that the human and the natural are complementary aspects of a unified condition and the broad natural setting is shaped by culture and human agency through interconnected historical, economic and political processes. Thus, it also affords the formation of new meanings marked by the process of emergence itself. As Turner notes:

"Meaning" in culture tends to be generated at the interfaces between established cultural subsystems, though meanings are then institutionalized and consolidated at the centers of such systems. Liminality is a temporal interface, whose properties partially invert those of the already consolidated order, which constitutes any specific cultural "cosmos."(36)

In this context, the question is if the modernist-national goal of the building as it is presented to the public is the only one, or can one uncover new meanings when the museum is perceived as a threshold and not merely as a border between two communities marked by the burden of their historical conflicts. The shift in approach can be better sustained in terms of Bhabha's analysis of culture as "negotiation," which also draws on the interstitial and liminal (hybrid) nature of states of affairs, processes and identities.

When I talk of negotiation rather than negation, it is to convey a temporality that makes it possible to conceive of the articulation of antagonistic of contradictory elements. [...] In such a discursive temporality, the event of theory becomes the negotiation of contradictory and antagonistic instances that open up hybrid sites and objectives of struggle, and destroy those negative polarities between knowledge and its objects and between theory and practical-political reason. [...] There is no simple political or social truth to be learned, for there is no unitary representation of a political agency, no fixed hierarchy of political values and effects. [...] The intervention of a Third Space of enunciation, which makes the structure of meaning and reference an ambivalent process, destroys this mirror of representation in which cultural knowledge is customarily revealed as an integrated, open, expanding code.(37)

Thus, it can be said that widening the spatial context of the eye of the beholder to the immediate surroundings of the Charles Clore Park, where the building is situated, modifies the original interpretation. The museum's garden is located on the sandstone hill that lines the beach. The heavy stones of the lower part of the building connect it to the local landscape, add to the sense of rootedness of the building in the place and, paradoxically, suggest the tensioned association between the old culture and the new. The fact that the stony foundations retain their ruined shape stresses the subordinate aspect of the structure. In this context, the upper part, the glass and aluminum construction, seems to float above the heavy stony foundation, enhancing its lack of rootedness in the local context. The use of the modernist style further emphasizes the architectural and mental distance of the upper part of the building from its environment, by celebrating the power of technology to prevail over the base that might have bound the building to its place. But this does not mean that the upper construction is out of context.

Widening the context even further to the panoramic view of the open and liminal space between Tel-Aviv and Jaffa, the upper part of the building matches the modern skyscrapers of the textile center to the north in the direction of Tel Aviv, and the lower part of the building harmonizes with the landscape of the old Arab city of Jaffa. Seen within this intricate context of the city landscape, the dichotomy between the two parts of the building emphasizes the mutually constitutive fourfold set of meanings of contradiction, along the dimensions of modernity, capitalism, nationalism and colonization.(38) These discourses first led to the construction of meaning in terms of a hierarchized, stratified and planned conception of space, identified with the Zionist vision of homogenizing the landscape.

However, when perceived from an interstitial perspective, the building may become a monumental landmark of various kinds of heterotopias located in liminal space that can engender possible dialogues between the Israeli-modern and the Arab-local architectural landscapes, urban aesthetics and national ethos. The latter is exemplified by a summary of the responses of 100 passers-by who were interviewed by Arab and Jewish interviewers who approached them on the plaza in front of the museum on sunny weekends during the winter of 2004. The interpretation of the building provided by the narrative in the exhibition is adopted without question and suppresses the public's own feelings and beliefs. The hybrid structure of the building and its location open up new and even surprising interpretations, even among those who are aware of the official narrative associated with the building.

The promenade is crowded with groups of friends, families, etc., who are strolling, enjoying a barbeque in the park, or visiting the restaurants and coffee shops on the beach. It is a multicultural reality, in which Jews and Arabs share the same space, activities and experiences, although always in separate groups. Sunny weekends seem to bring Arabs and Jews to relax together around a building that represents the Jewish victory over the Arabs. In this liminal space, varied and often surprising practices emerge. For many Jews, it is the only reminder that Arabs constitute a part of the city's daily routines, though the mayor of Tel Aviv insists that the city be considered an ethnically homogeneous urban entity, of which Arabs are full citizens. For Arabs, it is a safe space to escape some traditional restrictions. For example, young unmarried Arab women may get permission to walk there with their girlfriends. They can run into boys, as though accidentally, but actually through well coordinated meetings, meetings that could not take place in the Arab neighborhoods of Jaffa. But what do the passers-by know about the building and what meanings do they assign it?

Almost all the interviewees, Arabs and Jews, knew that the building represents a monument commemorating the Jewish victory in the 1948 war. They are fully aware of the complex relationship between the traditional Arab base of the building and the modern Jewish top that associates it with the Arab/Palestinian history and with the Jewish/Zionist present. Almost all interviewees referred to the monumental status of the building and the aesthetically successful combination of the two parts. All of them appreciated the beauty of the building. However, some of the Arab interviewees thought that the modern addition to the building ruined the authenticity of the traditional Arab building. However, beyond these statements, which indicate that the architects were successful in transmitting their organic idea of harmonizing contradictions and freezing the moment of the 1948 war, both Jews and Arabs assigned the building different meanings, which co-exist and are continuously negotiated. For example, while about one third of the Jews insisted that the building held no meaning for them despite the fact that they were aware of its official signification, 43 percent of the Arabs refused to assign the building any meaning at all. We got the impression that they wanted to hide the real meanings they assigned to the building. This was also the case when they were questioned by an Arab interviewer.

The most interesting result of the interviews is that only 28 percent of the Jewish interviewees and only about 10 percent of the Arabs adopted the official narrative of the building. Jews mentioned that "The building commemorates the Jewish victory in 1948," or "It reminds me the victories of the Etzel, with whom I have identified all my life." Some young people also identified with the official message of the building: "It commemorates the Jewish victory in 1948, which makes it possible for us to enjoy our lives today." This response emphasizes the connection between past and present. But most young people viewed the story of the site much less personally: "It is a meaningful building for the veterans of the 'Etzel' who fought here in 1948." Such responses show a clear distinction along age groups. For older interviewees, the memory is still vivid and alive, while for the younger ones, although the museum preserves the memory of the past, its specific signification does not really touch them. In contrast, Arab interviewees remarked that "It is a painful reminder of our defeat and the loss of that place." Among the Arabs, and even the younger generation, the defeat is still alive, since it symbolizes their subordinate position in Israeli society, which affects their daily lives.

Some Jews (25 %) interpreted the place in terms of a symbol of the possibility of co-existence. They related this perception to the architectural conception – the hybrid structure of the two parts of the building. For them, the aesthetic merit of this combination symbolized the possibility of reconciliation and co-existence between the two peoples. "The integration of architectural styles has the power to bring together different people" and "I like the old stone constructions. Their beauty reminds me of different times and cultures which had more sensitivity to aesthetics than we have now." Both quotations emphasize the effect of aesthetics on ethics in the experience of the speakers, causing them to open up to the other side. But the fact that there is no parallel interpretation among the Arabs raises doubts as to whether it represents the generosity of the victorious side in the conflict or whether the building is a genuine stimulus that mobilizes people to action. Our short study fails to answer this question.

The response of another group of Jews was that the building was a testament to the domineering nature and arrogance of the Jews (12 %). They related more to the contradictions between the two parts of the building and its location, stressing its provocative message. The building left them feeling disturbed. They found that the location of the building, in the gap between Arab Jaffa and Jewish Tel Aviv, ambivalently suggested an ongoing dialectic between domination and co-existence: "I feel uncomfortable when walking here, since it reminds me that our existence became possible only on the ruins of the Palestinian culture," or "We should have been more sensitive to the Arabs that live here and pass by the building on a daily basis," or "This is an arrogant symbol of our victory, which raises in me feelings of guilt." These are some of the expressions used by passers-by to describe their attitude to the official meaning assigned to the building by the architects and its formal presentation.

The narrative adopted by one-third of the Arab interviewees, described the building as a nostalgic reminder of the beauty of Jaffa, described by their grandparents as the "bride of Palestine." Most Arab children like to repeat the vivid stories of their grandparents about the heavenly places they used to live in. The romanticized descriptions remain alive in the personal and collective memory of almost all Palestinian youngsters. The beauty and the rootedness of the traditional part of the building both objectifies the truth of their grandparents' stories and transforms them into nostalgic feelings: "The building evokes in me nostalgia for the wonderful stories of my beloved grandfather about the beauty of our house in the city before 1948," "The building is silent testimony to the authenticity of my grandpa's vivid descriptions of our lost city." Here, personal nostalgia for a happy childhood with beloved grandparents and the national memory of a golden age, against the background of a repressed national and personal present, were projected onto the building, to enhance the truth of the stories. The stony foundation of the building reminded them of their glorious past and gave them some comfort in the present. The light and rootless upper part of the building gives them hope that a Palestinian revival in the future may be possible.

Another fourteen percent of the Arab interviewees approached the building as being at once a clear-cut boundary and a transgression of it, with strong effects on their sense of belonging. Despite the fact that many of them cross the boundary on a daily basis, the feeling of passing into alien space remains an essential aspect of their daily life experiences. Youngsters told us that on Friday evenings they tend to leave their home spaces only in groups in order to feel more secure. When they pass the building toward Tel Aviv, they temporarily "change" their identity by adopting Jewish names and wearing Jewish ornaments, hoping to get permission to enter night clubs and discotheques and gain popularity among Jewish girls. Several older people spoke about their attempts to avoid reaching out to the Jewish space as much as possible, although they need to do so quite frequently, since Tel-Aviv-Jaffa is a mixed city.

Ten percent of the Arab interviewees accepted the official message of the museum, but experienced the meaning as those who identify with the Palestinian side of the story. For them, the building, with its provocative symbolization of the Jewish victory, symbolizes the memory of their national disaster, the "Nakba," and the defeat of 1948: "The building is a painful reminder of the defeat of my people in 1948," "The museum symbolizes the low point of the Palestinian people."

As a tentative conclusion, it may be said that, unlike the official narrative, the interpretations of passers-by, based on their informal knowledge, personal feelings and deep-rooted beliefs, go beyond the canonical hermeneutic habit to view identity in its pre-established integrity and unity, and provide useful means for examining different modes of thought, usually posited in terms of clear-cut oppositions. Liminality is not used in our discussion as a rhetorical strategy intended to conceal or camouflage the truth, but as a genuine analytic tool that can disclose the in-betweeness of being and meaning. Moreover, while focusing on the interstitial and transitory aspects revealed by comments of passers-by on the building's architecture and environment, one sees, as Bhabha observed, that "identity is never an a priori, nor a finished product; it is only ever the problematic process of access to an image of totality".(39)



The Etzel Museum, as a landmark that stands out in its environment, is not merely a significant point for navigation, as expected by the Lynchian model, or a meaningful space on the cultural map of Tel-Aviv-Jaffa, but a core from which a set of meanings and social identities radiates. As a hybrid monument located in a liminal space that embodies many emerging meanings beyond those connected to modernity, nationalism, capitalism and colonization, the building does not simply place opposites side by side, but affords the confrontation and interplay of the opposites in a way that they interpenetrate yet do not fuse into a new whole. With the transformation of borders among the parts of the building and the two spaces into a threshold, the traditional dichotomies among Jewish, modern, capitalist and colonized space on one hand, and their Arab counterparts, an intricate yet fruitful process of interaction unfolds. Finally, it discloses a set of meanings that opens a play of interpretations, which differ from the official ones and even undermine them. In this article, we argue that globalization and postmodernism open boundaries among social groups and spaces in a way that makes hybridity and liminality become typical characteristics of many places.

Different meanings are assigned to the building by those whose identities were shaped by their history, memories, and conflicts, but also by their daily lives, side by side. While generally aware of the official narrative, their interpretations often contradict and moreover, undermine it, since they do not focus on the firm ground of already settled oppositions but on the interstices between them. This difficult and painful negotiating process hints at the emergence of new possibilities for future relations between Arabs and Jews in Tel Aviv.


1   Christian Norberg-Schulz, Experience, space and architecture (New York, Praeger, 1971); Edward Relph, Place and placelessness (London, Pion Limited, 1976).
2   Martha King, Heidegger’s philosophy: A guide to his basic thought (New York and London, The Macmillan Company, 1964), pp. 87-88.
3   Christian Norberg-Schulz, “The Phenomenon of Place,” in K. Nesbitt (ed.), Theorizing a new agenda for architecture (New York, Princeton Architectural Press, 1996), pp. 423-426.
4   Izhak Schnell, “Sheinkin as a Place in the Globalizing City of Tel Aviv,” Geojournal, 69, 4 (2007), pp. 257-269.
5   All the quotations are from Michel Foucault, “Of other spaces: Utopias and heterotopias,” in Neil Leach (ed.), Rethinking architecture: A reader in cultural theory (London and New York, 1997), pp. 350-355.
6  Quoted in Leach, xvii
7  Ihab Hassan, “Toward a Concept of Postmodernism,” in Thomas Docherty (ed.), Postmodernism: A reader (New York, London, Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1993), pp. 152-153.
8  Jean-François Lyotard, “Answering the question: What is postmodernism?,” in: Docherty, Posmodernism: A Reader, p. 44.
9  Ibid., p. 46.
10  “Inescapably side by side: An interview with David Held,” available at
11  e.g., Anthony Giddens, Modernity and self-identity: Self and society in the late modern age (Stanford, Stanford University Press, 1991); Manuel Castells, The rise of the network society (Blackwell, Oxford 1996); James Slevin, The internet and society (Cambridge, Polity Press, 2000); Zygmunt Bauman, Life in fragments: Essays in postmodern morality (Oxford: Blackwell, 1995).
12  Doreen Massey, “A global sense of place,” in Trevor Barnes and Derek Gregory (eds.), Reading human geography (London: Arnold, 1997), pp. 315-323; idem, “Globalisation: What does it mean for geography?,” Geography 87, 4 (2002), pp. 293-296.
13  e.g., Noel Castree, “Place: Connections and boundaries in an interdependent world,” In S. L. Holloway, S. P. Rice and G. Valentine (eds.), Key concepts in geography (London: Sage Publications, 2003), pp. 165-185; Tim Cresswell, Place: A Short Introduction (London: Blackwell, 2002).
14  Shaked Gilboa, The shopping mall as a place in the late modern age (Ph.D. Thesis, Tel Aviv University, 2007).
15  Pinchas A. Noy, “What is the self of self psychology?,” Sichot - Dialogue, Israel Journal of. Psychotherapy, 9, 3 (1995), pp. 180-187; Fredric Jameson, Postmodernism (Tel Aviv, Resling, 2002).
16  Muhammad Amara & Izhak Schnell, “Identity Repertoires among Arabs in Israel,” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 30, 1 (2004), pp. 175-193.
17  Homi K. Bhabha, The location of culture (London and New York: Routledge, 1994), pp. 1-2.
18  Arnold van Gennep, The rites of passage (London, Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1965).
19  Victor Turner, From ritual to theatre: The human seriousness of play (New York: Performing Arts Journal Publications, 1982), p. 32.
20  Ibid., p. 41.
21  Victor Turner, The ritual process: Structure and anti-structure (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1969), p. 95.
22  Turner, From ritual to theatre, p. 27.
23  Pnina Werbner, “Introduction: The dialectics of cultural hybridity,” in Pnina Werbner and Tariq Modood (eds,), Debating cultural hybridity: Multi-cultural identities and politics of anti-racism (London: Zed Books, 1997), p. 1.
24  Ibid., pp. 1-2.
25  Ibid., p. 4.
26  Ibid., p. 22.
27  Hans-Rudolf Wicker, “From complex culture to cultural complexity,” in Pnina Werbner and Tariq Modood (eds.), Debating cultural hybridity, p. 38.
28  Ibid., p. 40.
29  Bhabha, The location of culture, pp. 1-2.
30  Amnon Niv, Amnon Schwartz, Dan Schwartz, “Etzel house named after Gidi,” Architecture, 9, 3 (1984), pp. 3-4 (Hebrew).
31  K. Lynch, What Time is This Place? (Cambridge Mass, MIT Press, 1972)
32  Niv, Schwartz, & Schwartz, ibid., pp. 1-2.
33  This narrative was perented in several hundred exhibited and stored documents that we examined and in a veteran’s explanations to the public, during eight different visits to the museum in the winter of 2004. The brochure of the exposition summarizes the canonical narrative. We chose not to validate the story using historians’ evaluations of the situation but to present it in the language of the Etzel veterans.
34  Asher Shkedi, Words that try to touch: Qualitative research - theory and practice (Tel Aviv, Ramot, 2004, Hebrew).
35  Turner, From ritual to theatre, p. 52.
36  Ibid., p. 41.
37  Bhabha, The location of culture, pp. 20-37.
38  Mark LeVine, Overthrowing geography: Jaffa, Tel Aviv, and the struggle for Palestine, 1880-1948 (Berkley, University of California Press, 2005).
39  Bhabha, The location of culture, p. 51.

8.5. The Urbanity of the World and the Dividing of Cities

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For quotation purposes:
Izhak Schnell and Madeleine Schechter: Liminal Places of Memor(ies): The Etzel Museum in Tel Aviv - In: TRANS. Internet-Zeitschrift für Kulturwissenschaften. No. 17/2008. WWW:

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