Pera Peras Poros Longings for Spaces of Hospitality

Abstract : Welcoming the Stranger Though you have shelters and institutions, Precarious lodgings while the rent is paid, Subsiding basements where the rat breeds Or sanitary dwellings with numbered doors Or a house a little better than your neighbour's; When the Stranger says: 'What is the meaning of this city? Do you huddle close together because you love each other?' What will you answer? 'We all dwell together To make money from each other?' Or 'This is a community'? And the Stranger will depart and return to the desert. O my soul, be prepared for the coming of the Stranger, Be prepared for him who knows how to ask questions. (from T.S. Eliot's Choruses From 'The Rock') W ELL, PREPARING for the coming of the stranger should not be such a big hassle in the contemporary American city. With movement-sensitive lighting at the doorway and the 'armed response' sign in the garden, most families would feel themselves quite 'prepared' for the coming of the stranger. But is this a welcoming preparation? The 'stranger' has made it again – be it Plato's xenos, the daring Ruth, or Eliot's Stranger – the stranger, the concept of the stranger has always been the one arriving with questions, posing questions, making one pose questions and thus challenging the order. This time, however, it is not the stranger but strangers, without a single figure, who ask questions and cause us to question ourselves: the displaced people, refugees without citizenship, 'the most symptomatic group in contemporary politics', as Hannah Arendt,
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Theory, Culture and Society, SAGE Publications, 2002
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Mustafa Dikeç. Pera Peras Poros Longings for Spaces of Hospitality. Theory, Culture and Society, SAGE Publications, 2002. 〈hal-01274367〉

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