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Tag: Postcolonialism

What connections are there between art forms and political systems? Rabih Mroué’s works revolve around the social situation in Lebanon and the Eastern Mediterranean. For “Why Are We Here Now?” he examines, together with representatives from the post-civil war art scene, Lebanese concepts of identity and the special role of the lecture performance. To article...

What form of theater can reflect changed realities? The journalist Katja Petrowskaja and the artist and playwright Mohammad Al Attar discuss Noam Chomsky and the international left, migration and military conflicts as lived experience, and theater as a political tool. To article...

More than virtually any other place, the Syrian city of Aleppo is associated with war and destruction. The artist Mohammad Al Attar resists such media codifications. A talk on intimate narratives, cherished places, and resilient memory. To article...

According to the thesis of the curator Adania Shibli, railways and their rail networks do not just constitute infrastructures, they also narrate histories of colonialism and its consequences. The curator invited Philip Rizk to write a piece about his journey from Berlin to the border of Syria, which the writer and filmmaker began in the summer of 2017. In his text Rizk explores the figure of the anarchist Alexander Berkman (1870-1936) who during his lifetime played an important role in the resistance against US and Russian imperialism, and, traveled on the tracks of the Baghdad Railway 100 years ago. To article...

By train from Berlin to Baghdad, from Damascus to Mecca: hard to imagine today – but this was not always the case. The writer and cultural researcher Adania Shibli on the history(ies) behind her program “After the Wildly Improbable”, on forbidden books, the utopia of travel, and rail tracks as witnesses. To article...

Where does tolerance and Laissez-faire end? When do silence and omissions become violence? The writer Jessica Lauren Elizabeth Taylor summarizes positions by writer Taiye Selasi, cultural theorist Theo Goldberg and historian Achille Mbembe and sketches a range of social phenomena against the background of an increased potential for violence. To article...

The nation state has largely established itself as the international organizing principle of modernity. However, what do forms of resistance and alternative models to its conflict-laden demarcations and capitalist motivations look like? The political scientist James C. Scott examines “Zomia”, an upland region extending across South East Asia and the Tibetan Plateau whose indigenous population has resisted incorporation into empires and nation states since time immemorial. An excerpt from his groundbreaking book “The Art of Not Being Governed” (2009). To article...

Men are power, children mean power. Taiye Selasi, celebrated author of “Ghana Must Go”, opens up glimpses into inescapable gender hierarchies. Through the eyes of an 11-year-old girl “The Sex Lives of African Girls” tells the story of a fateful day in a village in Accra, on which male dominance unfolds in all its harshness, the more so as it is supported by women. The girl Edem has no mother, her auntie Khadijeh can’t have children of her own, both don’t stand a chance: “In the peculiar hierarchy of African households the only rung lower than a motherless child is a childless mother.” An excerpt from this story accompanying the Violence edition of the Dictionary of Now. To article...

Who has the sovereignty of interpretation over history? What new perspectives and approaches to it are possible? The artist, filmmaker, and theater creator Ho Tzu Nyen on the tiger as a metaphor for the historical entanglements between man, nature, and culture in Malaysia and Singapore, the meaning of language and song in his work, and the uncertainties generated by engaging with (colonial) history. To article...

How to develop a non-essentialist conception of identity? What strategies are conducive to decolonize the imagination? Anselm Franke and Hyunjin Kim, the curators of the exhibition 2 or 3 Tigers, discuss the colonial beginnings of worldwide surveillance, the dangers of nationalism in history and today, and the possibilities for emancipation from understandings of tradition in both East Asia and the West. To article...