Congresos de GKA, [GKA ARTS 2020] Congreso Internacional de Artes y Culturas

Tamaño de la fuente: 
Islamic Art as the Carrier of Identity Redefinition of Islamic Art through a Study of Imamite Sacred Places in Pre-Safavid Travelogues
Mohammadreza Rafighdoust

Última modificación: 2020-01-29


From a cultural point of view, art plays a twofold significant role in society. The first role of art is to teach people new ways of action and life. In its original and pre-industrial version, art must reproduce and provide alternative meanings by which people can learn about their ways of life. Another role of art in society is the communicational function to save and transition meanings between generations and people. Therefore, finding and understanding social arts in a community helps us in knowing more and more about their culture, history and identities.

This is the case especially about Imamite Muslims in pre-Safavid era when they were usually a minority religious cult who didn’t have any control on official historiography and education. Therefore, they tried to use some alternative epistemic systems (like art) to reproduce Imamite meanings and identity by which they designed a communicational system through which they can coexist with other religious groups and also maintain and convey their own identity. Islamic Art in this version was not solely an aesthetic work to make a good feeling for believers when they make a pilgrimage or pray. Also, it was not a governmental tool to save the name of kings in history. But it was an alternative epistemic system through which people find a new way to save and insist on their own meanings, culture and identity in a way that can develop a coexisting type of social life by comparison to other types of insisting like hard resistance of fighting together.

A prominent case where one can inclusively find social arts is sacred places. Imamite sacred places have been described in historical travelogues written by passengers around the world.

Palabras clave

Islamic art, Islamic history, Imamite studies, Shi’I studies, Islamic studies