Where to take grip of the routes of Sepharad
António Medeiros (ISCTE University Institute of Lisbon, CEI-IUL)
Paper short abstract:
I take the arguments of Anna L. Tsing on “global connection” and James Fernandez’s reflections on “inheritance/heritage” as main resources to think about disappointmentsin transnational cooperation, Sephardic heritage politics in Istanbul and in a deserted hamlet of Portugal, and EU monnies.
Paper long abstract:
Today, despite the absence of a significant Jewish population in Portugal, "Sephardic heritage " politics are quite intense in the interior of the country, due to the popularization of a discourse on heritage in the last couple of decades and a variety of recent "European" resources. On the other hand, the politics of Sephardic heritage are quite a bit more discrete in Turkey, where a 16.000 strong community of - more or less fluent - Ladino speakers lives today. Recently, I missed the opportunity to launch a research project with Turkish colleagues, focusing on a comparison of the afore-mentioned politics. My efforts to build a team were, in someway, "lost in translation", a failure mainly traceable to the diversity of backgrounds among the team members, the non-EU status of Turkey, and current political tensions in Turkey and the way they critically impinge on minorities' sense of safety. I'll take the arguments of Anna L. Tsing on "global connection" and "friction", and also some of James Fernandez' inspiring ruminations on the changing status of the representations of inheritance/heritage in rural Iberian contexts, as my main references. I reflect both on my own disappointments with transnational cooperation concerning the expressions of heritage politics related to the Sephardic legacy in Istanbul, as well as in an almost deserted hamlet in the interior of Portugal.
Heritage as a European product