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Place & Space

Venice and Liminality

From ritual to theatre

Liminality, Venice

From the book From Ritual to Theatre Victor Turner describes liminality as “mid-point of transitions between two positions”

Liminality can also be described as movement between the previous positions into another position, liminality is the time or space in-between, Turner describes liminal as “neither here nor there” it can represents the inbetween stage of transition between one point to another.

Train stations, hotels, universities and airports are examples of liminal spaces which are always in transition. People are neither at home or away they are in the middle of getting to somewhere, they are in the process of becoming who they want to become like students are not children but are not yet working people with a well qualified job.

Airport passengers are not at home neither are they at there flight destination to where they want to be as well as the transmission from being a teenager and then into an adult, turning16 ateenager still doesn’t allow them to act and behave like adults but they can still be classified as adults, teenagers of 16 cant go to all of the places adults would be allowed and do everything adults would be able to do therefore it places them in the movement between here and then, its neither here or now they are in a liminal status, the same can be said though out all stages of life.

The term Liminality can apply to Venice too. Venice presentes itself to be a city that hasn’t been able to move its way out from the past and fit in with the other capital cities in the 21st centery, if  Venice would be compared to cities such as London or New York the differences would stand out, although part of what makes Venice look so beautifull and romantic the differences are clear between the cities.

What makes Venice seem as though it is a place that is stuck in the past is the way in which the city operates, in places like London, Paris and New york people travel by buss, tran, taxis and cars, in a modern fashion, however in Venice peole travel by boat or walk everywhere as it is surounded by water.

Another example for Venice being a place in Liminal status is the carnival can be promoted with gifts and masks for tourist who visit all year round which could represent that Venice is in a constant stage of liminality.

From ritual to theatre- Victor Turner





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