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EUME Berliner Seminar: 'Agitating' Arit in Terrible Times: The Palestinian Key of Return and German Imaginaries of Sovereignty

Dec 05, 2022 | 05:00 PM - 06:30 PM

Hanan Toukan (Bard College Berlin / EUME Fellow 2019-23) in conversation with Refqa Abu-Remaileh (Freie Universität Berlin / EUME Fellow 2015-22)

In recent years contentions over the migrations of the displaced and the travel of ideas and lifestyles that come with their movement have transcended the physical geography of borders. In Europe, and especially Germany, this has provoked capricious and polarizing existential debates over conceptions of history, citizenship and rights and the degree to which social and cultural diversity should be accepted in the name of liberal democracy and freedom. This tension is increasingly reflected in the publicly funded fields of art, culture and education. In this paper, I am particularly concerned with how, when and why such imaginaries of a threatened sovereignty manifest when it comes to Palestinian cultural production. I ask what art curated about Palestinian memory in particular can tell us about the mechanisms by which Palestinians and their cultural production are rendered invisible in German memory, identity and indeed consciousness. By honing in on the aesthetics, representations and discussions in Germany and in Palestine around one art object, the Palestinian Key of Return, exhibited at the Berlin Biennial of 2012, I center Palestine in larger scholarly debates that interrogate not only the exhibition of “well-intentioned” collective art processes, but also the question of what contemporary art festivals in western capitals do and don’t do for an emancipatory politics of shared anti-colonial solidarities, and why that matters for our understanding of what a truly decolonized form of radical democracy may look like.

Time & Location

Dec 05, 2022 | 05:00 PM - 06:30 PM

Forum Transregionale Studien, Wallotstr.14, 14193 Berlin

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