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Subproject C7

Rituals in Alevism

Subproject C7 predominantly investigated rituals in Alevism focusing on the Cem ritual with regard to migration into large cities such as Istanbul as well as to Germany. The concept of "ritual transfers" was the main explorative concept in the process. Videos and photographs of the most diverse contexts have been archived, taken in the years from 2003 to 2011, some of which additionally originated in the context of Alevi villages, Islamic mysticism, and the Kurdish Yezidi who served as a reference group in the study of subproject C7. This material serves as a means to analyze the changed contexts of these cultural performances as well as their transformations in structural, social and historical terms. This digital video and image archive about rituals in Alevism is the only one of its kind to date and therefore a unique source for researching this immaterial cultural asset that has been inaccessible and non-public until only a few years ago and has been subject to dynamic transformations since then.

Main page of the subproject >>>


Resource types:

Images and videos, with partial transcriptions



Turkish, German, partly Kurmanji, Armenian, Russian and Bulgarian


Time-period and location:       

Turkey, Germany, Armenia, Bulgaria, 2003 to 2011



Via HeidICON (videosphotos) (for university members)




Examples of the Collection

Praying men at a Cem ritual in a Cemevi in Istanbul (photo: Christian Funke, 2007).
Blessing of a sacrificial sheep (kurban) by the leading ritual specialist (dede) together with the offerants (sahip) (photo: Christian Funke, 2007).
Mevlevi dervishes at an Alevi Cem ritual in the Atatürk Sport Hall in Ankara (photo: Christian Funke, 2006).

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