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New Texts Out Now: Gary Wilder, Freedom Time: Negritude, Decolonization, and the Future of the World

[Cover of Gary Wilder,

Gary Wilder, Freedom Time: Negritude, Decolonization, and the Future of the World. Durham: Duke University Press, 2015. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Gary Wilder (GW): This book grew unexpectedly out of a lecture I tried to write on Aimé Césaire’s understanding of decolonization that would extend one thread of my first book, The French Imperial Nation-State, which had focused in the interwar period. But in the process I became fascinated by the complex and often counter-intuitive ways that Césaire, from Martinique, and Léopold Senghor, from Senegal, were reflecting on colonial emancipation, human freedom, global politics, planetary ...

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The Architecture of Nostalgia

[Hazem Harb's

The Invisible Landscape and Concrete Futures: A Solo Exhibition of Hazem Harb, Salsali Private Museum, Dubai. 3 March—1 September 2015 Contemporary colonialism—exemplified by Israel’s occupation of Palestine—asserts its hegemony through the manipulation of two key sites: historical narratives and physical infrastructures. The effacement of Palestinian presence on the land before 1948 constitutes a crucial part of the former strategy; the construction of walls and settlements that keep Palestinians within controlled, delineated spaces while expanding Israeli presence, combined with the destruction of existing infrastructure through regular invasions of Gaza, marks the ...

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Ottomanism with a Greek Face: An Interview with Vangelis Kechriotis

[Image via Ottoman History Podcast.]

“Ottomanism with a Greek Face”: Vangelis Kechriotis coined this term in one of his recent articles to describe a particular cultural and political phenomenon of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, namely a vision of a future for Greek Orthodox Christians within the Ottoman Empire embraced by a number of Greek intellectuals and politicians. In defiance of both Greek and Turkish nationalisms, this ideology developed an alternative understanding of Greek identity, one that combined cultural Hellenism with political loyalty to the Ottoman state. Not surprisingly, among chief ideologues of this vision were Karamanlis, Christians from the region of Cappadocia who ...

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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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Ramadan 2015 for Uyghurs: Another Crackdown on Islam in China’s Xinjiang

[Men Pray at Id Kah Mosque on Eid al-Fitr. Image by Preston Rhea via Flickr]

In the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), another Ramadan inevitably ushers in an intensified campaign to crack down on the Uyghurs’ religious beliefs, practices, and identity, alongside year-round social, political, and religious restrictions. As in previous years, local Xinjiang authorities have instituted a ban on Ramadan fasting this year for Uyghur civil servants and students, prohibited mosque attendance for Uyghurs under eighteen years of age, monitored mosque sermons and staff, and forced Uyghur restaurants and businesses to stay open during the daytime. During this year’s Ramadan, local authorities have taken additional measures to increase the difficulty ...

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Breaking the Myths of Power: The Struggles of the Haitians, Algerians, and Greeks

[

What do the struggles of the Greek people have in common with those of the Haitian slaves at the end of the eighteenth century or those of the Algerians in the middle of the twentieth century? Of course, these struggles are incomparable in many ways, but there is one important parallel that can be drawn. Both moments of anticolonial resistance compelled ruling power to show its true face and managed to shatter the myths informing that power’s universal claims and its so-called humane intentions. The Greek people are now doing the same thing with the myth of the “European Compromise.” The clear-cut rejection of European austerity policies in the recent referendum is yet ...

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The Right to Democratic Dissent: A View from Greece

[100,000 people protest against IMF austerity measures in front of parliament building in Athens (29 May 2011). Image by Wikimedia Commons User Kotsolis.]

One of the normative impulses of Eurozone orthodoxy has been to forestall the element of dissent, and to establish an uncritical and authoritarian doctrine: namely, that neoliberal austerity is the only possible “game in town”.  For five years, the peoples of Greece and other countries of the European South have been experiencing the implications of a compulsory economization of the political terrain: rampant inequalities, dispossession of public space, dismissal of social rights. The role of EU and Eurozone bureaucracies, but also of the states and state institutions, has been reduced to safeguarding the pervasive functions of the market. The antagonistic spirit ...

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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 employing a variety of aesthetic forms: from cinematic and documentary strategies to 3d graphics; from oral story telling to religious rhetoric. Personal anecdotes are ...

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Foreign Policies Media Roundup (April-May 2015)

[This is a monthly roundup of news articles and other materials related to other countries' foreign policies toward the Middle East. It does not reflect the views of the Foreign Polices Roundup Editors of Jadaliyya. You may send recommendations for inclusion in the Foreign Policies Media Roundup to info@jadaliyya.com, mentioning "Foreign Policies Roundup" in the subject line.] United States Ex-Blackwater Guards Given Long Terms for Killing Iraqis (13 April 2015) Years after the 16 September 2007 massacre at Nisour Square, four former Blackwater security contractors received long sentences for their involvement in the “wartime ...

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حوار مع إدواردو غاليانو

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وُلد إدواردو غاليانو في الأرغواي سنة 1940، وقد ألّف العديد من الكتب، منها "الشرايين المفتوحة لأميركا اللاتينية" (1973)، الذي قام الرئيس الفنزويلي هوغو تشافيز بإهدائه إلى  الرئيس الأميركي باراك أوباما  آملاً أن يعلّمه التاريخ.  ثم ألّف غاليانو "ذاكرة النار"، الثلاثية التي تُرجمت إلى العربية منذ عقد. من بين كتبه الأخرى المترجمة إلى العربية "كتاب المعانقات"، و"كلمات متجولة"، و"مرايا"، كتابه الأحدث، والذي يتحدث فيه عن كلّ شيء من الملح والخرائط والنقود إلى كليوباترا وألكسندر هامتلون وتشي غيفارا جوناه رسكن: لقد وصفْتَ أميركا اللاتينية مرة بأنها امرأة تهمس في أذنك. هل كنت تعني أمّك؟ إدواردو ...

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It’s a Kind of a Domesticated Wilderness: An Interview with Abbas Akhavan

[Abbas Akhavan's

People ask me, “What does it mean?” And I say: “It doesn’t mean anything.” Evidently, the work of Toronto-based artist Abbas Akhavan carries connotations, pointing the viewer to a certain direction. Yet the artist refrains from pedagogic messages, thus encouraging viewers to form their own opinions. At the core of Akhavan’s practice, which he defines as a declination of possible answers to the same problem, lies the idea of the sacred—the respect of nature’s welcoming tenderness, blended with a menacing pugnacity. Installed for the first time at the Third Line Gallery in Dubai, his Study for a Curtain—modeled after a pit trap and comprised of exotic plant leaves—draws on ...

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Nargess Hashemi: The Pleasure in Boredom

[Detail of Nargess Hashemi's

The Pleasure in Boredom charts Nargess Hashemi’s process of developing over ten years worth of experimentation on graph paper. She has doodled in notebooks from a young age; during long, tedious car journeys, over extended visits with family and at art school where her teacher, artist Farshid Maleki, also assigned her exercises of repeated line drawings. The practice has become somewhat of a lifelong obsession for the artist. Using only the most basic materials, the artist adopts a commonly unfocused and subliminal practice and refines it, resulting in vibrant artworks of great complexity. The title of the exhibition references an essay by E.H. Gombrich, in which the ...

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Essential Readings: Palestinians in Latin America

Palestinian struggles in maintaining a strong national identity have been affected by the emergence of three similar yet distinct groups: internally displaced persons; refugees in exile; and Palestinians who have emigrated from their homeland to countries outside of the Middle East. This third group includes descendants born outside of their ancestral homeland. Narratives of Palestinians living in Latin America, falling in the third group, have been largely neglected in scholarly discourses. They do not ...

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Quick Thoughts: Hugh Lovatt on Calls for European Union “Differentiation” in Relations with Israel

[On 22 July 2015 the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) issued “EU Differentiation and Israeli Settlements”, a report that called upon the European Union (EU) to take a more robust approach to Israel and foreign institutions implicated in the occupation and specifically Israel’s illegal settlement enterprise in the occupied Palestinian territories. Jadaliyya asked Hugh Lovatt, Israel/Palestine Project Coordinator at ECFR, to explain the logic behind the report and particularly its calls for ...

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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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Bringing Our Lost Brethren Back Home: Messianic Zionism, Settler-Colonialism, and the Lost Jews of Kaifeng

The Kaifeng Jews of China–numbering at present some five hundred to one thousand in total–are one of the latest communities to garner the interest of right-wing messianic organizations connected to the settler-colonial movement in Israel. Over the last decade, messianic groups have intensified efforts to encourage the community to immigrate (aliyah) to Israel. This endeavor is making some headway. Messianic organizations, including Amichav (My People are Returning), its semi-successor Shavei Yisrael ...

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Report: The Bird's Nest Armenian Orphanage in Byblos (Lebanon)

The Bird’s Nest in Byblos (Jbeil, Lebanon) was an orphanage built to house the Armenian refugees who had escaped the 1915 Genocide. It served generations of Armenian children. The southern part of the plot includes the Saint Kayaneh chapel, built by the orphans themselves in 1921. That chapel is the only place of worship for the Armenians of Byblos On 21 February 2015, the Armenian Catholicosate of the Greater House of Cilicia, keeper of the Bird’s Nest since 1967, announced that it will ...

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Will the Greferendum Bring A Rupture?: Answers from the European Left

If you do not expect the unexpected, you will not find it; for it is hard to be sought out and difficult. Heraclitus, Fragments Having participated in the international anti-EU forum just days before Syriza government called for a bailout referendum, Athens was seminal in inciting all smatters to indulge in the day-to-day developments of Greek politics. During the three-day forum, participants were involved in deep discussions about political and economic crises within the European Economic Area, ...

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EUROPE, EUROPE, EUROPE: Chant Avedissian with Sadia Shirazi

It is lunchtime and I am meeting Chant Avedissian again, after an awkward initial encounter. We first met in the childhood apartment he now shares with his sister, amid cigarette butts and vertically hung scrolls in downtown Cairo. After making coffee, we began a conversation in which all my attempts to talk about Avedissian’s artwork were sidelined. We spoke, instead, about my work, interests and intentions. I was then shown around Avedissian’s room and studio, a 3x4 m. room with a built-in loft. It was ...

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Sweeping Waste Under the Oriental Rug

 "Just between you and me shouldn't the World Bank be encouraging more migration of the dirty industries to the Least Developed Countries? […] I think the economic logic behind dumping a load of toxic waste in the lowest wage country is impeccable and we should face up to that […] I’ve always thought that countries in Africa are vastly under polluted; their air quality is probably vastly inefficiently low compared to Los Angeles."  Lawrence Summers, leaked World Bank ...

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Breaking House Rules: Hoodies, Hijabs, and Belonging in the Netherlands

The Incident With panoramic views of both the city and its harbor, the Openbare Bibliotheek Amsterdam (OBA), proved to be an ideal place for me to take a break from working at either my home or office at Leiden University. I visited the OBA regularly since moving to the Netherlands in 2011, when I accepted a position as an assistant professor of Modern Middle East History. Its gigantic floor to ceiling windows drowned you in the sunshine, and led you to feel as if you were amongst the clouds when it was ...

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إدواردو غاليانو: عدوّ النسيان

”حين أموت ستبقى الريح، ستواصل بقاءها“ إدواردو غاليانو - من كتاب المعانقات خطف الموت إدواردو غاليانو، الذي وصفه الروائي جون بيرغر بأنه "عدوّ الكذب واللامبالاة، وقبل كل شيء عدوّ النسيان، والذي بفضله ستتذكر البشرية جرائم الغرب". كتب إدواردو غاليانو مرة "إن الكتابة هي ضد النسيان، الذي يمارس القتل الحقيقي".وأعتقد أن كتب غاليانو، الذي مات غير مكترث بالموت في قرن الريح الأكثر عصفاً، تُقدِّم ترياقاً سحرياً لمعالجة مرض النسيان الناجم عن فيروس مُصنّع في مخابر السلطات المتشابكة والعابرة ...

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‘African Literature...Says Who?’ with Ngugi wa Thiong'o (New York, 24 April)

The Warscapes Public Lecture Series and New School's Humanities Action Lab present “African Literature...Says Who? The Last Fifty Years” Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o in conversation with Charles Cantalupo Friday, 24 April at 6pm New School University Center 65 Fifth Ave, New York, New York 10003 Free admission; tickets available here Kenyan born and internationally acclaimed, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o is the author of more major works of fiction, nonfiction, and drama than any African writer. His groundbreaking ...

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Driven by Storms: An Interview with Sadik Alfraji and Nat Muller

Diluting the melancholic longing for unattainable dreams, which will only ever remain dreams, Sadik Alfraji injects the possibility of hope into his latest exhibition, currently on view at Ayyam Gallery Dubai’s Al Quoz outpost. Curated by Nat Muller, who also edited Alfraji’s first monograph, Driven by Storms (Ali’s Boat) stems from a drawing that the Netherlands-based artist received in 2009 from his nephew Ali. Alfraji drew on the aesthetics of Ali’s boat, symbolising a much-desired escape from the ...

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