Plural Cultures – Plural Spaces: Franco-British Comparative Perspectives on the Institute for Islamic Cultures (Paris)

The “memory wars” have shaped much recent work in cultural history. They have also underpinned significant urban regeneration projects in the form of cultural centres and museums in major cities around the world. The French Republican paradigm, with its constitutional blindness to ethnic and religious particularities, has offered a strong structure within which to observe the challenges involved in the reshaping of national memory, particularly as it has been carried out from within institutions of national heritage. Taking the new centre dedicated to the Cultures of Islam in Paris (ICI) as its “object” of study, this project will extend and re-direct that reflection. With its emphasis on the plurality of the cultures of Islam, its plural mission to provide a space of religious worship as well as educational and cultural programming for users of all backgrounds, and its plural sites split across two areas of major urban regeneration, the ICI offers an important example of the hybrid solutions being sought by public institutions in the face of a rapidly diversifying population.

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Le projet en français.

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