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Moise, who was supposed to have left Sunday for New York to participate in the United Nations General Assembly, has postponed his departure pending the installation of the government. Wadi Dawan in the Hadhramaut Valley, main picture. Arab News photo by Munshi Ahmed. Updated 20 July Though the Indian Ocean separates the Asian metropolis of Singapore and the Arabian deserts of Hadhramaut, the ties that bind them run deep and go back centuries Situated at the crossroads of Africa, Asia and the Middle East, Hadhramaut was at one time a key post on the ancient spice trade route.

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Follow arabnews. Zahra Aljunied, a fifth-generation Singaporean Arab. AN photo by Munshi Ahmed. Hide comments Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus. Special 0.

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Indian Ocean Migrants and State Formation in Hadhramaut

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References al-Mashhur, Abd al-Rahman b. Muhammad b. Husayn Shams al-zahira al-dahiyya.

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Nubdha min a'lam Hadramawt, 2 vols. Arai, K. Asad, T. At the very onset, it must be noted that art history is grounded squarely in translation: the translation of the visual, the spatial, and the sensory into the textual. Art history, as W. In , Fatimah binte Sulaiman ca. In other parts of the Indian Ocean world, Neoclassical elements entered mosque architecture somewhat later.

Blurring the difference between indigenous mosques and European architecture, all three structures dangerously destabilized an imperialist rhetoric that marked out the modern West from its Muslim colonial Other. Fergusson wrote,. Of course no native of India can well understand either the origin or motive of the various parts of our Orders.

We will see how such architecture reconstituted imaginative and geographic configurations to elicit elective affiliations across the Indian Ocean. What forms of ekphrasis would such a maneuver demand from art history? Ekphrasis, of course, sustains a systemic relationship with the question of terminologies. Consider, for instance, the term Neoclassical. Architecture is immobile, but its image is not.

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In British India, the colonial archive testifies to the importance of The Book of Architecture in shaping a new language of Neoclassical architecture. In Singapore, George D. The term Neoclassical, too, acquired a peculiar valence. Indigenous appropriations of this notion of the Neoclassical, then, made problematic the imperial rhetoric that marked European usages of the term in the colonies.

Equally significant were the slippages that occurred in the materiality of architectural translation. By this time, Muslim traders were operating in increasing numbers in port cities such as Bombay, Suez, Beirut, Singapore, and Hong Kong. Such transregional familial and trade networks certainly impacted the architecture of Neoclassical mosques.

In Singapore, the wooden chamber of the mosque was unprecedented. Yet, such projecting wooden chambers were a constitutive part of the urban fabric across South Asia and the Arab worlds of the Indian Ocean fig. Known as rawshan the Persian word for light in Red Sea architecture, mashrabiyya in Egypt, and jharokha in western India, these loggias or chambers allowed the women of the household to look at life on the street without being seen.

In Singapore, the loggia perhaps introduced into architecture the metaphor of light, a central tenet of Muslim theology.

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The loggia was indigenized, however, with the use of a characteristic Southeast Asian pyramidal roof fig. Complementing the hybridity of the Neoclassical steeple, this translation, too, indexed shared affinities across the Indian Ocean that symbolically conjoined the architecture of Southeast Asia with that of South Asia and the Arab worlds.

Consequently, new subjectivities emerged, subjectivities defined by the ability to see across wider seascapes beyond the particularities of individual lived worlds. From the perspective of an architectural history, it is certainly easy to see how Muslim patrons in the Indian Ocean redrew the contours of their world, not just through Western Europe, but through the translation of visual forms assimilated from diverse networks of affinities.

The entangled web of connected geographies across communities, cultures, and empires then introduces global art history as a critical component in the trajectories of the translations that we have tracked so far.

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To translate failure into translation, then, is also the first step toward decolonizing or delimiting the legacy of Enlightenment thought as it structures the ways in which we still think, write, and teach art history. The Neoclassical mosque, of course, was only one among the many modes of being in translation. Alongside the mutable materiality of peripatetic relics framed through narratives of discovery, legitimacy, and reconstitution, the digital presence of the Piprahwa relics by way of docudramas and multimedia websites allows Mukherjee to further explore translational paradigms that are central to notions of objecthood in the age of pixels and data.