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A momentary lack of rituals: urban festivities cancelations in Geneva, Turin, and Zurich during the COVID-19 lockdowns

Publication date2023-09-18
First online date2023-09-18
Abstract

Abstract

Rituals of territorial belonging as established practices of inclusion improve dynamics of belonging and coexistence. They are particularly significant in the city where people need rituals to trust each other. But what happens when rituals disappear? The Covid-19 pandemic is an experiment on a societal level on the role of rituals. We will analyze three canceled or strongly modified traditional events in Geneva, Zurich, and Turin. We conclude that these cancellations of rituals in urban public spaces generated a lack of territorial belonging and produced mistrust and anger, but at the same time pushed people to develop new dynamics to fill this void. Frustration over the cancellation was transformed into agency. This sense of emptiness was filled through the multiplication of personal and social rituals, through the rediscovery of the city’s territory alone or with their groups of affiliation, and through new digital rituals linked to the urban ritual.

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Citation (ISO format)
CATTACIN, Sandro, GAMBA, Fiorenza, VIANA ALZOLA, Nerea. A momentary lack of rituals: urban festivities cancelations in Geneva, Turin, and Zurich during the COVID-19 lockdowns. In: International journal of anthropology and ethnology, 2023, vol. 7, n° 1. doi: 10.1186/s41257-023-00095-y
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ISSN of the journal2366-1003
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