Shared Spaces

Religion, Plurality and Representation of Difference in Public Space

Daria Pezzoli-Olgiati

In the last few years, religious symbols in public space have become objects of controversy and debate. The conflicts related to the presence of diverse religions are often linked to the visibility of symbols and their references to religious traditions. This project analyses public places where plurality and difference are made deliberately visible and focuses on diverse constellations of spaces, with on the one hand, inter-religious spaces in train stations, airports, hospitals, schools or shopping centres and, on the other hand, spaces where religions diversity is displayed within cultural institutions such as museums.

The comparison seeks to deepen awareness of spatial configurations of religion at the physical-architectural, social and symbolic levels.

Methodologically, the research is embedded in cultural studies practices, with particular consideration given to the production, form (Gestalt) and use of these places as well as their associated identity processes.