A Critical Reading Of The Ottoman-Turkish Hammam As A Representational Space Of Sexuality

PASİN, Burkay
As much as being a physical bathing space, the Ottoman-Turkish hammam is a representational space which is sexualized through various codes and norms. In this study, based on Lefebvre's tripartite theoretical framework on the production of space, the hammam is critically read as a representational space of sexuality. By means of multiple visual, audiovisual sources and research data, it is aimed to understand how these codes and norms of sexuality are perceived, conceived and experienced in the production of the hammam space. In the first section, comparative analyses of various pictorial representations in which the hammam is constructed as a female-only space, are made. In the second section, how the hammam is re-constructed as a representational space of sexuality is analyzed through its re-presentation in popular Turkish movies, as well as its experience in the hotel hammams. Finally, how the non-normative spatial practices in the hammam are concealed by means of heterosexual and homoerotic norms of sexuality and gender identity, are shown.