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Originally referring to a vaguely defined “oriental” market, the bazaar, as an institution and a space, has for many centuries exercised its attraction upon observers from all over the world. A sensorially and semiotically overloaded space and a point of encounter of various influences, actors, artefacts, and symbols, the bazaar is commonly presented in most travel guides, novels, and reportages (and often in scholarly work too) as the epitome of Middle Eastern (and Asian) societies; as the arena where visitors can capture the most picturesque and “authentic” impressions of the “culture” of such areas. An originally localized space and notion, the bazaar has therefore become a constitutive part of translocal fantasies as well as an example of Western exoticizing and orientalistic representations of the world.

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