Landscapes of nation: Constructing national identity in the deserts of Bahrain

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Abstract:

Since the discovery of oil, increasing wealth and international exposure have challenged Bahraini society and her notions of peoplehood. The earlier celebration of the “death landscapes”, comprised of the world's largest conglomeration of burial mounds, the pearl monuments and Dilmun pottery works have since been seen as inadequate to define Bahraini identity. This paper examines the emerging architectural landscapes of Bahrain that construct its national identity as a liberal modern state. It investigates how national space is defined by competing idealisms of the reconstruction of landscapes that celebrate grand historical narratives, and contemporary post-modernistic urban settlements and monuments crafted in parallel infused with meanings to produce a coherent social construct of the nation.

Keywords: Bahrain; identity; landscapes; nation

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14608944.2012.702744

Affiliations: University of Bahrain, Bahrain

Publication date: September 1, 2012

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