Germany's public space and the other : sacralizing the past and secularizing the present / Emily Kate Utzerath.
This paper examines media reactions to two recent events in Germany. A fashion photo shoot at the Memorial for the Murdered Jews of Europe sparked media attention when it was featured in a budget airline's in-flight magazine, while the debates regarding the construction of a central mosque in Cologne have been a more permanent feature within the media. Public spaces, such as Holocaust memorials and mosques that are typically associated with the proverbial Other, are experiencing very different trends within contemporary German society. An evaluation of the reaction to the photo shoot reveals a tendency to sacralize secular spaces that are considered representative of Jews, whereas an analysis of the reaction to the construction of a central mosque reveals a proclivity to secularize traditionally sacred spaces. A comparative analysis of these two prominent events reveals connections between forms of exclusion and discourses of memorialization, normalization, and tolerance.
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