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A Shift in Turkey's Foreign Policy? An Interview with Osman Shahin

[Massive influx of Syrian Kurdish refugees into Turkey. Photo by European Commission DG ECHO via Flickr]

Last week, Turkey joined the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), after the group carried out a suicide bombing in the town of Suruç close to the Syrian border, killing thirty-two young socialist activists and students, and injuring many more. Following that horrific tragedy, the Turkish government came under pressure to stop the free movement of ISIS fighters and operatives over the Syrian border. Despite the bombing of a few ISIS targets, most of Turkey’s firepower has been directed toward the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK). According to Al-Monitor, “The attack on IS was a single sortie against limited targets and closer to the Turkish ...

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Quick Thoughts: Ali Vaez on The Iranian Nuclear Agreement

[On 14 July 2015 in the Austrian capital Vienna, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif jointly announced the conclusion of a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action between Iran, the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and United States), Germany and the European Union (EU). Later that same day the presidents of Iran and the US, Hassan Rouhani and Barrack Obama, gave televised addresses hailing the agreement that crowned almost two years of intensive negotiations, primarily in Austria, Oman and Switzerland. As ...

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Alif: Aynama-Rtama

[Courtesy of Alif]

Alif, a band of five musicians at the forefront of the Arab underground music scene, is launching its debut album Aynama-Rtama (Wherever It Falls) on the 4 September 2015. Conceived in 2012 and taking its name from the first letter of the Arabic alphabet, Alif features Khyam Allami (Oud), Tamer Abu Ghazaleh (Vocals/Buzuq), Bashar Farran (Bass), Maurice Louca (Keys/Electronics), and Khaled Yassine (Drums/Percussion). Recorded in Beirut and Cairo in 2014, the album reflects a long process of experimentation that underwent different stages over the past three years. It uses contemporary Arab poetry by late Iraqi poet Sargon Boulus (1944–2007) and renowned late ...

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Pixelated Intifada: An Interview with Palestinian Filmmaker Amer Shomali

[Image via Amer Shomali]

This interview was conducted in Ramallah, Palestine on 16 June 2015 following the local and international release of Amer Shomali’s film, The Wanted 18, which opens in US theaters on 19 June 2015. Isis Nusair (IN): Where did the idea of the film come from? Amer Shomali (AS): I grew up in the Yarmouk [Refugee] Camp in Syria. During the first intifada (in 1987), my parents would tell me stories about Palestine. As a kid, they could not tell me all that was happening. I remember one story about an uncle who was arrested by the Israeli authorities after he was hiding in a palm tree! These stories about Palestine and the nature of the people stayed with me. I was obsessed ...

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Between 'Reality' and Memory: An Interview with Palestinian Filmmaker Michel Khleifi

[Director Michel Khleifi working on set with one of the child actors]

Isis Nusair (IN): How did you start making movies? Michel Khleifi (MK): It happened by chance. There was nothing in our life in Nazareth that would have prepared me to be a filmmaker. The films we saw, like all the children our age in the 1960s, were popular and commercial. This was our only chance to breath in the “Nazarene ghetto.” Closure was imposed on us by the Israeli occupation through its cruel military rule that banned us from leaving Nazareth without permits. The world used to come to us through these films and some leftist newspapers and magazines. There was one screening hall for thirty thousand people in my small town. They used to also screen films at the ...

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Nidaa Tounès et Ennahda, l’alliance entre « deux forces d’ancien régime » en Tunisie. Retour sur l'histoire de la révolution avec Aziz Krichen

[Rached Ghannoushi et Beji Kaid Essebsi. Image de espacemanager.com]

Aziz Krichen est une figure historique de la gauche tunisienne. Son opposition frontale aux régimes de Habib Bourguiba et de Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali le conduit en prison puis à l’exil. Ministre conseiller du président Moncef Marzouki depuis janvier 2012, il a démissionné de ses fonctions en mai 2014 pour ne pas avoir à cautionner une stratégie consistant à attiser les clivages identitaires du pays pour mobiliser l’électorat islamiste en prévision de l’élection présidentielle. Il répond ici à Khadija Mohsen-Finan qui l’interroge sur l’état actuel et le devenir de la classe politique tunisienne. Khadija Mohsen-Finan. — Selon vos propos, après 2011, la ...

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Naema’s Office is Bleeding

Medrar for Contemporary Art started its new workshop program this year with a painting and collage workshop led by Cairo-based artist Hany Rashed. The workshop aimed to introduce participants to different practices and techniques in painting and collage and to train them in conceptualizing artworks, inspired by media and the internet. Guest artists Huda Lutfi, Mohammed Taman, Shady El Noshokaty, Mohamed Abla and Ahmed Sabry were also invited to share their personal and professional experience, as well as add to the historical and artistic content of the workshop. A selection of the workshop's output was exhibited at Medrar for three days under the title "Naema's ...

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This is the Time. This is the Record of the Time

Curators Angela Harutyunyan and Nat Muller take the cue for their latest exhibition 'This is the time. This is the record of the time" from Laurie Anderson's 1982 song "From the air" where she describes the duration between becoming conscious that the plane will crash and its actual impact - a moment when time and space collapse. It represents the ultimate loss of control, over time or anything else for that matter. The curators argue that this idea and feeling resonate with our time, which is characterized by perpetual crises, be it economical, political, social, ecological or personal, as well as the continuous overload of information and updates. ...

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Farida El Gazzar's Dream City: Drawings and Paintings from Cairo

Gypsum Gallery celebrated the launch of its new space with a solo show by Egyptian-Greek artist Farida El Gazzar. Titled 'Dream City,' it brings together a collection of small-scale drawings and paintings produced between 2012 and 2015. The exhibition acts as a visual memoir of Cairo for the Athens-based artist, and is based on old family photographs, as well as snapshots of Cairo and Alexandria taken on annual summer vacations. One group of work activates her family album of photographs through images in pencil and acrylic drawings. Another group is a painting series of the flora of Egypt. The exhibition also includes a selection of paintings ...

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Studio Visit: Lebanese Artist and Musician Raed Yassin

In this video, we visit Lebanese artist and musician Raed Yassin in his studio in Beirut. He tells us about his ongoing interest in Egyptian cinema and how he uses it as a reference for many of his art projects be they video, photography, sound, installation or his well known neon signs. Yassin has been interested in Egyptian cinema because of its wide appeal in the Arab region. He borrowed a line from the famous Lembi film series to name the artist collective he formed with artists Vartan Avakian and Hatem Imam (Atfal Ahdath), and he has been mixing story lines and characters from various films with his own personal history, creating fictional memories, ...

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Highlights from the 4th Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival

In this interview, Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival Artistic Director Ahmed El Attar discusses the festival's vision and how it has evolved over the past four years. A main priority for D-CAF which is gradually being realized is expanding the contemporary arts audience base be it theater, dance, music or visual arts. Another priority area for the festival is bringing bigger and more exciting shows to Cairo's streets. To achieve this, Attar would like to build partnerships with state institutions. The video also highlights the different components of the festival's program this year. The interview is in Arabic and has English subtitles. This video is produced by ...

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From Khaled Kaddal's Trapped Sounds

Trapped Sounds is a conceptual sound art performance by Alexandrian artist Khaled Kaddal. Performed for the first time at Rawabet Theater in downtown Cairo, it aims to examine the relationship between the individual and collective intelligence, manifested in the mass-produced noises observed in our surroundings. The performance is accompanied with live visuals by Mohamed Abd El-Zaher - DADA.

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Muslims in Quebec, Belonging to an Intercultural Society: An Interview with Charles Taylor

Hicham Tiflati (HT): In my research on identity formation and the sense of belonging of young Muslims in Quebec, I have been finding that most of my participants deny their Quebecness and insist on being only Canadians. However, some of them cannot be anything else but Québécois because of the visible Quebecness in their character. Moreover, most of them are caught between Quebecness and Canadianness. Whether it is true or not, they believe that multicultural English Canada is more compatible with their ...

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Iran’s Nuclear Deal and the Day After: An Interview with Kamran Matin

For more than a week, diplomats from Iran and six world powers have gathered in Vienna’s Coburg Palace to finalize a historic deal on Iran’s nuclear program.   The officials from Iran and the US have told reporters  “we are making good progress on almost all of the issues..But there are a few issues which … remain to be resolved” as a result, the self imposed deadline of June 30th is now extend to Friday July 10th. This week, we spend the hour with Kamran Matin, Assistant Professor in ...

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From Rags to Riches: On Public Art in Cairo

From rags to riches is a year-long project initiated by the Cairo-based foundation Baad el Bahr and curated by Mashrabia Gallery to produce a number of art installations and projects made from recycled materials for pubic spaces across the city. The first phase of the project was a four-day workshop in March, led by Dutch public space designer Marjet Wessels Boer and Italian material processing artist Eugenia Morpurgo. The workshop offered training for artists to increase their skills in the use of ...

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A Walk Through 'Ahmed's Revenge and Other Untold Stories'

Ahmed’s Revenge and Other Untold Stories is Mohamed Abdelkarim’s first solo exhibition. It brings together a selection of videos, installations, books, digital images, sculptures, found materials and objects he produced from 2010 to 2015. On the opening night, Abdelkarim presented Ahmed's Revenge, a performance commissioned by AUC-LAB, and is part of the series Possibilities of Telling a Story.  In his work, Abdelkarim probes the narrative patterns of myth, history and ideology, by ...

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Chocolate Bar of the Future

Chocolate bar of the future is Hend Samir's first solo show. It is organized and hosted by Medrar for Contemporary Art as one of the awards for its annual arts competition titled Roznama. The exhibition takes a critical view of modern consumerism, individuals’ shopping habits and the role of advertising in manipulating consumer behavior. Chocolate Bar of the Future emulates the visual and sentimental experiences of shopping, with a collection of paintings based on manipulation of photos and magazine ...

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Sharjah Biennial 12: Uriel Barthelemi's Souls' Landscapes

Souls' Landscapes is a three-part performance produced by Uriel Barthelemi in collaboration with Entissar Al Hamdany, Joel Lokossou, Rigo 23, and Fabrice Taraud. It is loosely inspired by Frantz Fanon's 1961 book The Wretched of the Earth and incorporates music, dance, shadow, and text, developed using a personal and improvisational approach by the artists involved in the project. The artists performed parts I and II of the triptych during the opening week of Sharjah Biennial 12. They performed Souls’ ...

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Then and Now: LCPS Interviews Jadaliyya Co-Editor Ziad Abu-Rish on State Institutions in Lebanon

In the following interview with the Lebanese Center for Policy Studies (LCPS), Jadaliyya Co-Editor Ziad Abu-Rish discusses the history of state institutions in early independence Lebanon, and some of the legacies they left behind. The interview was conducted over email, and first published on the LCPS website. Lebanese Center for Policy Studies (LCPS): There have been discussions over the last few years concerning the Lebanese state, or lack thereof, in terms of public policy, public ...

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Olivier Roy on Laicite as Ideology, the Myth of 'National Identity' and Racism in the French Republic

Following the Charlie Hebdo attacks, Professor Olivier Roy, Head of the Mediterranean Program at the European University Institute discusses the development of the concept of laicite in France, from its emergence as a tool for the management of diversity, to its rebranding as an ideology of exclusion. In this interview, he questions the notion of national identity as a politicized concept and identifies a profound crisis of identity at its root. He also outlines the double-bind faced by French Muslims, ...

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What's the Vision Behind D-CAF's 2015 Music Program?

In this video, journalist and Dandin.me co-founder Abdel-Rahman Hussein interviews Mahmoud Refat about the vision for the music program in the 4th Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival (D-CAF). Refat, an acclaimed musician from Cairo and founder of 100Copies label and 100Copies Music Space has been curating the music component of D-CAF since its inception, bringing in a range of local, regional and international artists such as Emel Mathlouthi, Yasmine Hamdan, Ali Talibab, El Rass and of course the ...

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Jadaliyya Co-Editor Mouin Rabbani Interviewed by Al-Jazeera English on UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura

In this interview with Al-Jazeera English Diplomatic Editor James Bays, Jadaliyya Co-Editor Mouin Rabbani discusses the failure of the United Nations Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, to make any headway with an initiative to negotiate a ceasefire in Aleppo. Based on his own personal experience with the mission, Rabbani highlights the absence of preparatory work, and concludes that the UN special envoy was operating out of his depth and lacked the background required for the complexity of the ...

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On Palestinian Cinema: The State of Israel vs. Suha Arraf

Suha Arraf is a Palestinian filmmaker based in Mi’ilya in the Galilee in Israel. Arraf is a journalist by training. This interview with Arraf was conducted following the recent screening of her debut feature film, Villa Touma, at the Cleveland International Film Festival in the United States. Isis Nusair (IN): Where did the idea for the film, Villa Touma, come from? Suha Arraf (SA): I got the idea for making the film in 2000, during the Oslo Peace Process (and before the start of the second Intifada). ...

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Sharjah Biennial 12: Nikhil Chopra's Use like Water

Use like water is a nine-day performance by Indian artist Nikhil Chopra. It starts as a journey he undertakes through the deserts and seaside areas of the UAE and Oman and culminates with a performance, re-presenting his travels to audiences in Sharjah during the biennial's opening week. Chopra explores the layers beneath the region's shiny veneer by focusing on nature and how relationships developed over the centuries. The performance's surprising ending is also meant to send a message as to how things ...

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About Interviews
Jadaliyya’s Interview Page is a hub for all interviews published on Jadaliyya, including those in print, audio, and video formats. It features three categories of interviews: interviews conducted for Jadaliyya publication; interviews featuring Jadaliyya Co-Editors; interviews published elsewhere but considered important enough to be republished on Jadaliyya.

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