Skip to Content

Rabia Harmanşah

"Mapping the Forgotten Landscape: People, Power and Belonging—the case of the Island of Imbros"

Rabia Harmanşah

Mellon Fellow in Urban Landscape Studies

Rabia's research investigates the Turkish state’s efforts to deterritorialize memory and landscape on the Greek island of Imbros to create a ‘national space’ while destabilizing local communities’ strategies of resistance. It studies those Orthodox Christians who remained on the ‘wrong’ side of the shore after the 1923 population exchange, but who then faced discrimination, expulsion, and deprivation of properties. Using a novel analytical tool, memory maps, the work prioritizes these marginalized experiences, claims their belonging to the land, and uncovers the multiple layers of loss from their landscape.

Rabia Harmanşah is a cultural anthropologist who specializes in political anthropology, ethnoreligious conflict, memory studies, religion, political violence and displacement, and material culture, with an emphasis on the areas of Turkey, Cyprus, and the Balkans. She completed her PhD at the University of Pittsburgh along with a certificate in advanced East European Studies. She has conducted long-term ethnographic research on diverse ethnoreligious groups, such as Alevis-Sunnis in Turkey and Greek-Turkish Cypriots in Cyprus, and has been involved with NGO projects addressing challenges of social conflict. She is currently affiliated with the University of Cologne and works on comparative research on the islands of Imbros and Rhodes.