Di/Visions: Culture and Politics of the Middle East
Editors: Catherine David, Georges Khalil, Bernd M. Scherer
272 pages, numerous illustrations
Paperback, with accompanying DVD
Wallstein Verlag, Göttingen, 2009
Price: € 26,00 (Germany), € 26,80 (Austria), CHF 49,00
Out of print, possibly available in antiquarian bookshops. Book on zvab.com
Simplistic contrasts between West vs. East, Arabs vs. Jews, secular vs. religious, tradition vs. modernity, Islam vs. democracy and a history of violence have become the dominant perception of culture and politics of the Middle East, at latest since September 11, 2001.
Yet how can modern forms of ethnicizing and confessionalism emerge when countries like Lebanon, Iraq and Palestine are fragmented into rival groups, and how are these boundaries reproduced through technologies of colonial and military administration, urban planning, and global markets? How can we imagine a coexistence between Jews and Arabs, in which both the rights of Jews and Palestinians are taken into account, in light of Oslo’s failure? What sustains authoritarian regimes in the region and what forms of civilian resistance have emerged in society, culture, media and the university?
Di/Visions challenges the ideology of division: Intellectuals and artists working in Cairo, Beirut, Jerusalem and Baghdad and also in Berlin, Paris, and New York take a stand on the current situation in the Middle East and give alternative interpretations of its history and future.