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International Journal of Islamic Architecture 7.1 is out now!

Intellect is delighted to announce that the new issue of the International Journal of Islamic Architecture is now available.

Articles within this issue include (partial list):

 

Reordering nature: Power politics in the Mughal shikargah 

Authors: Shaha Parpia
Page Start: 39

The Mughal shikargah (hunting ground) defies conventional spatial and functional definitions. Although fragmentary, references to the imperial shikargah in Indo- Mughal literature, memoirs, biographies, gazetteers, and documents suggest that the typology of the shikargah cannot be reduced simply to one form of natural terrain; nor was hunting game its sole purpose. The shikargah was conceptualized to accommodate multifarious functions. Whether areas of wilderness or dedicated preserves, the spaces used for hunting were transformed into public arenas in which the emperors could enact the hunt. In addition, other alterations to the natural environment enabled the occurrence of courtly activities. As the stage for imperial ceremonials and for the meting out of justice, or as sites of encampment and halting during royal inspection tours, the shikargah was inextricably linked to the administration and bureaucracy of the Mughal Empire. The hunt was also a pretext to mobilize armies for reconnaissance and intimidation of restive provinces, during which the shikargah became a venue for military training and armed intervention. Using the framework of the hunt to interpret natural landscapes, this article aims to examine the physical and political processes of modification underlying the Mughal shikargah, those that carried with them semiotics of political power and control.

The radicalization of heritage in Tunisia

Authors: Virginie Rey

Page Start: 67

 

Since the so-called ‘Jasmine Revolution’ of 2009 in Tunisia, the idea of heritage has been destabilized following a series of attacks on religious and cultural sites across the country by militant Salafi groups. Thus far, sites of Jewish heritage have been the most affected. Cultural heritage from Tunisia’s rich ancient history, redolent for certain Islamists with associations of Jahiliyya, has also been targeted. The well-publicized attack on the Bardo Museum in March 2015 was perhaps the most famous symbol of this trend. However, less publicized have been attempts to reclaim some sacred sites, resulting in the occupation of local mosques on the island of Djerba and in the town of Le Kef. In the wake of these events, some Djerbian civilians have stood up to defend what they consider as intrinsic parts of the patrimonial identity of their island. But as they have been defending these mosques against extremist groups, new considerations related to their preservation have surfaced, calling into question their very patrimonialization. In the context of this radical politicization of Tunisian heritage, this article explores the struggle over who defines the meanings and uses of heritage in Tunisia and the new challenges and opportunities that Salafi attacks have created for the heritage sector since the revolution.

Competing visions for a modern Emirate: The government centre of the state of Qatar

Authors: Adam Himes

Page Start: 143

 

The influx of petroleum revenue brought on by the 1973–74 oil embargo led to a dramatic widening of the scope of modernization efforts in the newly independent emirate of Qatar to include the first physical manifestations of a modern national identity in its capital, Doha. Chief among these efforts was the creation of a ‘New Doha’, the development of which included a design competition for a government centre complex that solicited entries from the offices of Kenzo Tange, James Stirling, The Architects Collaborative, and Günter Behnisch. An analysis of the brief, the government actors involved in the selection of a winner, and the entries themselves reveals conflicting visions of the architectural materialization of the new state. These conflicts encompass not only aesthetics, but also ideas concerning political structure, the relationship between the government and its people, and the audience to whom the architectural project was to be addressed. The choice of winner makes clear the national identity that the Emir aspired to at the time, while its failure to be built highlights the obstacles that remained to be overcome. 

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