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Die Macht der Dinge in transnationalen religiösen Räumen – das Beispiel der Virgen del Cisne in Madrid

Eva Youkhana

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Schlüsselwörter: Transnationale religiöse Räume, agency von Dingen, Kolonisierung, Zugehörigkeitspolitiken, Madrid


The power of things in transnational religious spaces – the example of the Virgin of Cisne in Madrid.


Religious institutions, such as the Catholic Church, are becoming  increasingly important since the economic crisis in Spain. They act as  reference and meeting points by which faith communities are kept together; tangible assistance is offered and transnational communication structures and family bonds are sustained. Being assisted by local Saints,  the Catholic Church serves as a place of remembrance to produce and  reproduce senses of belongings that date back to the early colonial era.  Consequently, the social relations of migrants are manifested in a space which symbolizes the power and glory of the former colonial regime. Taking the example of the congregation of San Lorenzo in an immigration neighborhood in Madrid, the role and agency that religious artifacts play and have in reproducing collective identities and allocating social and financial resources is shown. By focusing on the object itself, the functions and cultural meanings of the figure in different historical contexts become apparent. The religious staging around the object of the Saint shows  spatial and chronological chains of interaction which reflect deep seated power relations between the immigrant and the host communities.

Keywords: transnational religious spaces, agency of things, colonization, politics of belonging, Madrid


Bibliographie: Youkhana, Eva: Die Macht der Dinge in transnationalen religiösen Räumen – das Beispiel der Virgen del Cisne in Madrid, PERIPHERIE, 2-2014, S. 263-287.