[Jadaliyya is happy to announce the launching of The Latin East initiative, a joint collaboration with the North American Congress on Latin America (NACLA) and the Middle East Research and Information Project (MERIP). So far, the initiative has resulted in the publication of special issues by both NACLA Report and Middle East Report as well as an international conference hosted at NYU on 27-28 April 2018.
You can access the full contents of both NACLA and Middle East Report Latin East issues online.
Most of the articles published in the NACLA and MERIP special issues were presented by their authors at the conference held at NYU and you can access them by following the links above. Below we provide an overview of the initiative’s rationale and scope. In addition, Jadaliyya is pleased to publish two original essays by Professors Rania Jawad and Amal Eqeiq that did not make it into the special volumes, as well as comments by the discussants Professors Ella Shohat, Ali Mirsepassi, Arang Keshavarzian, and Eiman Morsi.]
On Jadaliyya, this initiative is being introduced in a roundtable presented through a series of articles related to the themes of the conference. They are as follows:
Of Borders and Limits: Comparative Indigeneity in Mexico and Palestine by Amal Eqeiq
Comments on The Politics of Art: Readings, Reflections, and Refractions by Eman Morsi
Trajectories of Travel: Augusto Boal’s Liberatory Theatre Practice in Palestine by Rania Jawad
Comments on Confluences and Cartographies of the Latin East by Ali Mirsepassi
Comments on Trans-Regional Studies by Ella Shohat
At the height of Latin America’s “pink tide” in the mid-2000s, left-wing governments throughout the region developed unprecedented economic, political, and cultural ties with the Arab world as part of a larger effort to disrupt US hegemony globally. Meanwhile, in the Middle East, entrenched power regimes seemed to teeter against a wave of social and political movements broadly identified as the Arab Spring. Today, as the Pink Tide recedes and renewed conflict and authoritarianism grips the Middle East, the time is ripe to consider the origins, contours, and legacies of a relationship forged in a moment of deep regional and global flux, between parts of the world infrequently considered side by side.
The Latin East Initiative is organized around three broad themes: The first is Latin America in the Middle East. Due to the legacy of successive waves of migration from the Middle East to the Latin America in the twentieth century, most accounts of the relationship between both regions have focused on Middle Eastern influence in Latin America. However, as contributors under this theme reveal, Latin America’s influence in the Middle East, direct and indirect, is deep, longstanding, and wide-ranging, appearing in politics, economics, culture, and ideology. Comparative Regionalism is our second organizing theme. It features contributions that focus on how democracy, neoliberalism, post-neoliberal development, political parties, and social movements manifest themselves similarly or differently in both regions. Our third thematic area examines recent history. Here, contributors consider social movements, political, economic and cultural exchanges, and transnational solidarity and diaspora politics in light of the Arab Spring and winter, and against the backdrop of nearly two decades of left-wing governance in Latin America.
On 27 - 28 April 2018, NACLA, MERIP (Middle East Research and Information Project), and Jadaliyya convened scholars, artists, and activists for a two-day international conference at New York University to explore new and longstanding links between Latin America and the Middle East. Contributors considered social movements, cultural exchanges, political and economic institutions, and transnational solidarity and diaspora politics in light of the Arab Spring and winter, and against the backdrop of nearly two decades of left-wing governance in Latin America.
Panel 1: The Politics of Art: Readings, Reflections, and Refractions
Houzan Mahmoud & Ismail Hamalaw (Kurdish Culture Project) “The Latin Boom in Kurdistan”
Lena Meari (Birzeit University) “Reading Che in Colonized Palestine”
Roosbelinda Cardenas (Hampshire College) & Hiba Bou Akar (Columbia University) “Writing About Violence in Latin America and the Middle East”
Sinan Antoon (New York University, Jadaliyya) “Reading Vallejo in Arabic”
Rania Jawad (Birzeit University) “Traveling Pedagogies and Theaters of Violence”
Discussant: Eman Morsi (Dartmouth University)
Panel 2: Political Parallels and Economic Intersections
Paul Amar (University of California, Santa Barbara) “Military Capitalism”
Kaveh Ehsani ( Depaul University) “ Blessing or Curse? Resource Nationalism to Neoliberalism in Latin American and the Middle East”
Cecilia Baeza (Pontificia Universidade Catolica de Sau Paulo) & Paulo Pinto (Universidade Federal Fluminense) “The Syrian Uprising and the Arab Diaspora in Argentina and Brazil”
Paulo Farah (Universidade de Sao Paulo) “South-South Solidarity and South America-Arab Countries (ASPA) Cooperation Mechanism”
Discussant: Arang Keshavarzian (New York University)
Panel 3: Mapping Solidarities
Tariq Dana (Doha Institute) “Palestine Beyond Slogans”
Sara Awartani (George Washington University) “Puerto Rican Decolonization: Armed Struggle and the Question of Palestine”
Nadim Bawalsa (New York University) “Palestine West of the Andes”
Omar Tesdell (Birzeit University) “Planting Roots, Claiming Space”
Amal Eqeiq (Williams College) “Of Borders and Limits: Comparative Indigeneity”
Discussant: Ella Shohat (New York University)
Panel 4: Confluences and Cartographies
Fernando Camacho Padilla (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid) “Teaching Latin America in Tehran”
Marwan Kraidy (University of Pennsylvania) “A Tale of Two Modernities”
Kevan Harris (UCLA) “Divergent Histories and Converging Inequalities in the Middle East and Latin America”
Omar Dahi (Hampshire College) & Alejandro Velasco (New York University) “Latin America-Middle East Ties in the New Global South”
Discussant: Ali Mirsepassi (New York University)