Ioanna Paraskevopoulou 2019

Harokopio University, Athens

The Third Cemetery of Athens: methodology and conceptualization

The Third cemetery of Athens (Greece) is an ordinary, fully-operating public cemetery. It was established in 1938; it is the third and last cemetery owned and managed by the Municipality of Athens; the only one located at the west side of the city; and the city’s biggest cemetery, the massive cemetery of the metropolis. This paper is based on primary sources data (Laws, Regulations, City Council minutes [1936-2003]) gathered and studied during the first year of the PhD research on the Third cemetery. Findings’ qualitative characteristics and discursive perspective are presented according to an interpretative methodology that emerged from the classification of data collected so far. The latter indicates the cemetery’s multilayered structure, highlighting three scales – Public, Private, Other – that define its organization and functions. The first scale refers to the authorities and has to do with laws, policies and top-down decisions regarding the cemetery; the second one refers to the individuals and has to do with monuments, rituals and bottom-up practices. The third scale refers to everything that is left out of the regulated, distinct jurisdiction of the other two scales, representing the ‘other’, the very space where any type of otherness is placed. This paper presents the thematic allocation of data according the aforementioned scales. The aim is to investigate if this triaxial structure can indeed interpret the cemetery’s physicality and philosophy, place and space- time, conveying the whole range of facts, practices, figures and values that, through their presence or absence, conceptualize a deathscape.


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