di/visions

This weekend House of World Cultures in Berlin will start with Catherine David’s DI/VISIONS project, which focuses on Culture and Politics of the Middle East.
The program presents a month long series of talks, discussions and screenings, surely worth to be explored – (>> program):


In the Middle East, the long 20th century was marked by violence, division, expulsion and loss: from the division of Palestine to the wars of independence to the first Gulf War of 1990.
Since 11 September 2001, however, this violent history, which also includes Islamic violence, has become the dominant background against which “reality” in the Middle East as well as cultural and social productions in the region are perceived. To the orientalist contrast of East and West have now been added several new dichotomies – use to simplify matters – such as ‘secular’ and ‘religious’, ’moderate’ and ‘extremist, ‘democracy’ and ‘tyranny’. DI/VISIONS aims to examine these oversimplifying cultural and political contrasts, which shape our views of the region.

Since 1916 at the latest, when France and Great Britain divided up the region between themselves, the drawing of colonial borders has shaped the geography, the institutions and the social structures of the Middle East. This process of dividing up territories has been the dominant strategy right up to the present. The current processes of globalisation and economic neo-liberalism have imposed new landscapes of division, exclusion and exile on the region. These are, in turn, continually reproduced in the societal languages and practices of art, town planning, education and the media. Consequently, DI/VISIONS proceeds from the conviction that a concrete vision can only be developed by reflecting upon the borders created by ‘division’.

Catherine David on DI/VISIONS (sorrily the interview is only in german available)

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