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America, Asia, Europe
Individual and Society
The Conference-Program in the House of World Cultures
01.04.2003 15:00
Islam, gender, identity, perception, power, turning point
>>> Women's Movement and Civil Society in the Arab World

>>> The Politics of Identity – Nation, Migration and Difference

>>> Frames of Viewing II

Conference: Women's Movement and Civil Society in the Arab World
>>> End of April 2003
In the Arab world in recent times various interests have been actively mobilised in the public sphere. In the climate of "democratisation", political relaxation and liberation, campaigns and organisations are becoming increasingly common in civil society. The women's movement is regarded as a particularly dynamic component of this process and as a project to bring about change in tradition-bound state and civil institutions.
The women's movement is a difficult project for which economic, organisational, political, ideological and social resources will need to be mobilised. The conference in Berlin aims to provide the various women's initiatives in the Arab world with a forum to present their approaches and network among themselves. Key topics will include: the women's movement and the climate of political change – the Arab, Islamic and third-world perspective; women's interests in the Arab world – Arab feminism caught between the national and international agenda; strategies and the implementation of political measures for the emancipation of women; obstacles, opportunities and perspectives for women's campaigns and organisations in the Arab world.

Conference: The Politics of Identity – Nation, Migration and Difference
>>> beginning of April 2003
Citizenship and nationality, migration and integration, acquisition of language and diaspora – this is the spectrum of subjects covered by the conference "The Politics of Identity". In Germany the debate about immigrant status and discussions about a "predominant culture" have made it clear that multinational discourse in this country has not yet led to a real deconstruction of identity. The use of the term "cultural identity" goes largely unquestioned. Ethnic and cultural categories are mixed indiscriminately. Ethnicity is used to construct cultural differences.

The conference in the House of World Cultures will therefore introduce and discuss the basic theoretical concepts of the international identity discourse. It will also relate this discussion to concrete processes of identification and examine them in their current social, political and institutional context.

Conference: Frames of Viewing II
>>> autumn 2003
The 20th century was a century of images. But what do we mean when we talk about images? The answers to this question range from paintings on canvas and photographic reproduction to the moving pictures of electronic media and even computer-generated images of complex scientific processes and the mental pictures of the imagination, as produced by our brains. Among academics a complex interdisciplinary discourse has arisen on the terminology of images. It shows that the image has already become one of the core categories of all natural and cultural sciences. Aesthetics, a science which has traditionally dealt with the analysis of pictures, has a particular interest in a comprehensive definition of image. However, several sciences claim the term "image science" for themselves.

Among English speakers the term "visual culture" has become widely accepted in academic circles in the last ten years, first as a descriptive term, then as interdisciplinary practice. At present the discourse seems to be concentrated in Western Europe and America. The objective of the conference is to engage in discussion with academics from Africa, Asia and Latin America, in order to examine the relevance of the discussion about "image science" in the context of globalisation and worldwide networks. The aim of the conference is therefore not so much to discuss the epistemology of aesthetics, but rather to focus on its social, cultural and economic context.

Contact: Peter C. Seel