Performances of late Ottoman modernity: culture, entertainment and leisure activities in pre-world war I Jaffa

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Dokumentart: Buch (einzelnes Kapitel)
Date: 2022-08-15
Source: Ben-Bassat, Yuval; Büssow, Johann: From the Household to the Wider World. Tübingen University Press 2022
Language: English
Other Keywords: Jaffa
public culture
urban nodal points
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This article discusses governance processes relating to imperial Ottoman cul- ture, entertainment, and leisure in the port city of Jaffa in Ottoman Palestine before World War I as “performances of late Ottoman modernity” perceived and reported by the publish- ers of the Arab newspaper Filastin. It highlights how cultural initiatives considered “mod- ern” were organized by various civil society actors, non-governmental organizations, and social societies, and explores the agendas and perceptions that informed their activities to promote modern middle-class urban cultural life. Two locations in Jaffa, Bustrus Street and Manshiyya Beach, serve as the main examples to illustrate the general rules for “managing culture” in a modern Arab provincial town. The article explores whether these cultural practices were specific to Jaffa, expressions of imperial Ottoman culture, or a reflection of global trends. The main body of sources analyzed is articles from Jaffa’s leading Arabic newspaper Filastin published between 1911 and 1914, combined with research literature on the Jaffa-Tel-Aviv region during the late Ottoman period, historical maps, and photo- graphs. The newspaper articles are viewed as testimonies of local perceptions of Jaffa’s cultural and leisure life, conditioned by the distinct modernist mindset characteristic of Filastin’s discourse.

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