Atmospheres of the other
In this article, I use the concept of atmosphere to analyse disparate sources related to the process of sacralisation of the orthodox synagogue Adass Jisroel in modern Stockholm. Using the synagogue as an entry point, I explore the affective landscapes related to its unofficially sacred places in firstly a Pietist orphanage and secondly a cinema, and how they shaped inner-communal relations. The material components of Adass Jisroel's sites elicited different emotions from different visiting bodies: its orthodox members aimed to create a space of religious continuity and communal integrity, reformed guests othered the members, while poorer orthodox Jews felt alienated. By analysing these multiple affective experiences linked to material changes of set architectural designs, I outline, for the first time, the orthodox minority's unstable position between fragility and stability in Sweden's capital from 1870 until the 1940s. On a greater scale, through this case study, I propose that the concept of atmosphere provides the field of emotional geography with conceptual muscle to both excavate silenced minority voices, and explore the role of the built environment in eliciting emotions that shape, cement, contest and transform the inner-communal hierarchal landscape that unofficially sacred places are irrevocably situated in.
Maja Hultman. 2022. Atmospheres of the other: Building and feeling Stockholm's orthodox synagogue. Emotion, Space & Society 44.