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The Social Power of Presence and Absence: The Case of Salonika


Nancy Stein,  Ph.D. candidate in Comparative Studies, PI

Academics search through the layers of history, but how the past is represented in our daily lives brings up different concerns. This paper examines the visual symbols that are situated in the public realm to provide an understanding of how a city represents itself, the stories it tells about itself to its citizens and to the rest of the world. I consider the significance of public memory, its presence and absence, with Thessaloniki providing a case study. This multiethnic, polyglot city, known as Salonika, that existed under Ottoman rule for five hundred years, became the modern Greek city of Thessaloniki in 1913 by establishing an official Hellenic version of the past that relegated all “other” voices to the margins. Specifically, this presentation will consider the presence and absence of cultural representations of the Jewish Communities, a majority population for several hundred years, in the city of Thessaloniki, Greece, and their complete absence today from the public sphere.




   
 

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