Thoughts on the Sense of Belonging in Granada: The Alhambra and the Ayuntamiento as Sites of Belonging
Haverford College. Department of Anthropology
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The reign of the Muslim empire of Al-Andalus in the Iberian Peninsula, which started in 711, ended in 1492 with the Reconquista ofthe city of Granada by the Catholic Monarchs. Today Granada's tourism is central to its economy and culture and the Alhambra, the old Muslim city of the Alhambra, is a large component. Research has often put the Alhambra and its history in conversation with the Jewish quarters of the city, however, I will explore how it is that the Alhambra and the Ayuntamiento, Granada's city hall, affects Granada's citizens' sense of belonging. I will look at the process of empadronamiento, which occurs as a way to reach a sense of belonging in the city and compare it to other non-legal processes which allow for the same feeling. This will be put in conversation with the Alhambra's historical position as well as its tourism. By looking at the Alhambra, and Granada's tourism, I will explore how much of Spain's Muslim past is truly celebrated. The celebration of Spain's Muslim past will also be seen through the lens of convivencia which assumed coexistence despite race or religion. Through these conversations and the words of my interlocutors' words I will attempt to answer the question of how the Ayuntamiento and the Alhambra impact Granada's residents' sense of belonging.