Dar al-Kalima organise un atelier sur l’art et la citoyenneté au Liban (L’Orient-le-Jour)

Un plaisir d’organiser cet atelier avec ma collègue Roula Salibi pour Dar al-Kalima. Parution de l’annonce dans l’Orient-le-Jour, 4 décembre 2021.

AGENDA – ÉVÉNEMENT

L’université Dar al-Kalima (Bethléem, Palestine) et l’ONG Dar al-Kalima/programme Nabad (nabad.art) au Liban organisent un atelier d’une journée sur l’art et la citoyenneté, le 16 décembre 2021, à l’hôtel Bossa Nova de Sin el-Fil.

Face à la situation actuelle du pays, il est urgent de définir des projets qui aideront à former des citoyens et citoyennes aptes à vivre ensemble, à se construire une identité unie dans la diversité, de même qu’une société inclusive. En ce sens, l’art et la culture constituent des routes privilégiées. Malheureusement, elles ne sont pas souvent empruntées ou sont qualifiées de secondaires. D’où l’importance de la déconstruction de savoirs sclérosés concernant tant l’art que la citoyenneté, car si l’art a servi et sert encore la propagande politique, il est aussi, comme l’affirme Picasso, « un instrument de guerre » contre la tyrannie. Il est surtout un éveilleur de conscience et une plateforme de choix pour l’éducation à la citoyenneté. L’art fait d’ailleurs éclater les idées reçues : il aide à réconcilier les individus et les communautés, à guérir les blessures aussi. C’est dans cette perspective que se situe l’atelier du 16 décembre courant. Un atelier parmi trois initiatives (Beyrouth, Amman, Gaza) qui accompagnent la 23e conférence internationale de Dar al-Kalima sur l’art et la citoyenneté prévue à Bethléem les 15 et 16 décembre 2021. Avec pour objectif, notamment, de promouvoir l’avènement de sociétés inclusives en Asie du Sud-Ouest.

Plusieurs questions seront abordées par des artistes et des représentants d’entreprises créatives et d’organisations d’art. Comment les initiatives artistiques locales et de la diaspora peuvent-elles avoir un impact plus important compte tenu des défis actuels – crise économique, troubles politiques et injustice sociale ?Quels sont les besoins des individus, des groupes et des associations qui réinventent les notions traditionnelles de création artistique et contribuent au développement de leur société à travers le pouvoir transformateur de leurs capacités artistiques ou par un engagement social proactif ? Et quelles sont les pistes permettant d’aller de l’avant ? Pour plus d’informations, contactez Nabad/Dar al-Kalima au Liban par courriel :

art.nabad@gmail.com

Lire l’article dans l’Orient-le-Jour

Source: https://www.lorientlejour.com/article/1283654/dar-al-kalima-organise-un-atelier-sur-lart-et-la-citoyennete-au-liban.html

ورشة فنية حول الفن والمواطنة في بيروت

تنظم جامعة دار الكلمة (بيت لحم – فلسطين) بالتعاون مع جمعية دار الكلمة للفنون والثقافة وبرنامجها نبض في لبنان ورشة فنية حول الفن والمواطنة في فندق بوسا نوفا في 16 ديسمبر 2021

تعقد هذه الورشة بالتزامن مع ورشة فنية في عمان بالتعاون مع المعهد الملكي للدراسات الدينية، وأخرى في غزة وذلك في مقر جامعة دار الكلمة، وقد ترافق هذه الورش المؤتمر الدولي الثالث والعشرين لدار الكلمة حول الفن والمواطنة في حرم الجامعة في بيت لحم (15 و 16 ديسمبر). و يأتي هذا المؤتمر ضمن إحتفالية بيت لحم عاصمة للثقافة العربية، وكذلك استكمالا لتوصيات مؤتمر جامعة دار الكلمة الدولي “المواطنة الفاعلة: نحو مجتمعات حاضنة للتعددية في الشرق الأوسط وشمال إفريقيا”

سيركز المشاركون في الورشة الفنية في بيروت على مناهج وممارسات الفنون والثقافة المحلية والإقليمية، ويقيمون الاحتياجات الحالية، ويحددون التحديات والعقبات، ويقترحون طرقًا للمضي قدمًا لإحداث التغيير الاجتماعي والسياسي من خلال الفنون. وسيقدم المشاركون من فنانين وأكاديميين وناشطين منهجيات واستراتيجيات متنوعة في الفن الاجتماعي والسياسي تثبت أن الفن ليس رفاهية بل قاعدة ووسيلة فعالة لبناء مجتمعات “لا يُهمّش فيها أحد من أجل تحقيق التنمية المستدامة، وإتاحة إمكانية وصول الجميع إلى العدالة، وبناء مؤسسات فعالة وخاضعة للمساءلة وشاملة للجميع على جميع المستويات” (الهدف 16 للتنمية المستدامة، الأمم المتحدة).

لأن الفن ممارسة اجتماعية وسياسية، يصبح عمل الفنانين مرتبطًا بمفهوم المواطنة، وبالتالي، يصبح مصدرًا للمعرفة و القناعات والقيم عن أنفسنا والعالم، وجزءًا من تعليم وتنشئة كل مواطن.

للمزيد من المعلومات: art.nabad@gmail.com

اقرأ المقال كاملا: https://janoubia.com

جامعة دار الكلمة تستعد لإطلاق مؤتمرها الدولي الثالث والعشرين بعنوان الفن والمواطنة

SOURCE: ALWATANVOICE

رام الله – دنيا الوطن
أعلن القس البروفيسور متري الراهب مؤسس ورئيس جامعة دار الكلمة، عن بدء التحضيرات لعقد مؤتمر الجامعة الدولي الثالث والعشرين تحت عنوان “الفن والمواطنة”، والمزمع عقده بالفترة من 15-16/12/2021 في حرم الجامعة في بيت لحم، حيث تسعى جامعة دار الكلمة من خلال هذا المؤتمر إلى استضافة نخبة من العلماء والأكاديميين/ات أصحاب العلاقة.
و يضاف لذلك أصحاب الخبرات الفنية والإبداعية من المختصين والمهتمين في هذا المجال من مختلف أنحاء العالم من أجل تبادل الخبرات العلمية والثقافية والفنية، وتفعيل آليات الحوار الثقافي من خلال الاطلاع على تجارب الآخرين، وخلق فضاءات معرفية مشتركة تعزز من حضور القيم الانسانية والثقافية في مواجهة التحديات.

و يهدف المؤتمر إلى تقديم رؤية واضحة وشاملة حول دور الفنون بكافة أشكالها في تعزيز وتجذير مفاهيم المواطنة كأساس للحوار في بناء المجتمعات المدنية، كما ويطرح المؤتمر التساؤلات والمواضيع التالية مدى الحاجة لتكريس الخطاب الفني المعاصر في تعميق قيم المواطنة ومفاهيمها ومدى أهمية تعدد أشكال الدور الذي يمكن لمؤسسات التعليم العالي أن تقوم به في ترسيخ القيم التي ترتبط بالكرامة الإنسانية والتحرر والتعددية والمساواة.

و يأتي هذا المؤتمر ضمن إحتفالية بيت لحم عاصمة للثقافة العربية، وكذلك استكمالا لتوصيات مؤتمر جامعة دار الكلمة الدولي “المواطنة الفاعلة: نحو مجتمعات حاضنة للتعددية في الشرق الأوسط وشمال إفريقيا”.
و سيتناول المؤتمر العديد من المحاور البحثية ذات العلاقة بالفن والمواطنة كدور التبادل الثقافي والفني الأكاديمي في تعزيز المواطنة، وقضايا المواطنة في الأفلام العربية، والمسرح وقضايا المواطنة، وكذلك مفاهيم الكرامة – المساواة – والمجتمع المدني في الفنون المعاصرة، والفن والحراك الشعبي وقضايا المواطنة، والفن – المقاومة والمواطنة، ودور الفن في تعزيز المواطنة في الجامعات العربية، بالإضافة إلى محور قضايا المواطنة في أعمال طلبة الفنون، وهذا المحور موجه للطلاب، ذلك أن جامعة دار الكلمة تولي أهمية كبيرة لعرض آراء الشباب وأفكارهم، وذلك لإيمانها بدور الشباب في صنع التغيير.

وبالتزامن مع يومي انعقاد المؤتمر ستقام  ثلاث ورش فنية كجزء من المؤتمر، حيث سيعقد في 15/12 ورشة فنية في عمان بالتعاون مع المعهد الملكي للدراسات الدينية، وفي 16/12 سيعقد ورشتين الأولى في غزة، وذلك في مقر جامعة دار الكلمة، والثانية في بيروت بالتعاون مع جمعية دار الكلمة للفنون والثقافة، و سيتم عقد جلسات المؤتمر من محاضرات وندوات وورش عمل وجاهيا، وكذلك عبر تقنية (Zoom).

المزيد على دنيا الوطن ..https://www.alwatanvoice.com/arabic/news/2021/11/17/1444681.html#ixzz7CpcYnIrf

“The View from Lebanon: Dr. Pamela Chrabieh on life, education and the economy today in Beirut” – Interview on Finitoworld.com (London, UK)

Dr. Pamela Chrabieh is a Lebanese-Canadian scholar, university professor, visual artist, activist, writer and consultant. Selected as one of the 100 most influential women in Lebanon (Women Leaders Directory 2013, Smart Center and Women in Front, Beirut), and ‘Most Exceptional Teaching Fellow’ in 2008 (University of Montreal), Dr. Chrabieh won several national and regional prizes in Canada (including Forces Avenir Université de Montréal, Forces Avenir Québec, Prix Lieutenant-Gouverneur du Québec), and her Peace Education ‘Diplomacy of the Dish’ activity was selected as one of the most innovative activities during the Innovation Week of the United Arab Emirates in 2015. Since 2017, Dr. Chrabieh has been the owner and director of Beirut-based SPNC Learning & Communication Expertise, and the Nabad (nabad.art) Program Manager since 2020.

Here, in an important exclusive, she talks to the poet and critic Omar Sabbagh about the current condition of Beirut and Lebanon.

Omar Sabbagh: Whether it may be common knowledge or not, Beirut and Lebanon more generally are currently in a state of crisis.  Can you tell us, to start with, what this crisis situation looks like on the ground?  

Dr. Pamela Chrabieh: Lebanon has been going through a multiform crisis following the so-called end of the 1970s-1980s wars: social, political, environmental, sanitary, etc. The Beirut port blast on August 4, 2020, was the first straw that broke the camel’s back, and the ongoing acute economic crisis the second straw. As poverty is rising – more than 60% of the local population lives now under the extreme poverty line – people are increasingly desperate. Many (those who were able to do so) left the country, others (those who are staying) are trying to survive the financial meltdown, the Covid-19 pandemic, and the political deadlock.

OS: There are many factors that constitute the fraught modern history of Lebanon.  In your view, is the current crisis another version of other crises in the history of modern Lebanon, or is the current situation of a new sort, and why?

PC: In my opinion, the current situation is first the consequence of decades of corruption, physical and psychological wars, state paralysis, nepotism, sectarianism, foreign interferences, and a clash of ignorance. However, and contrary to what we went through during the 1980s – and that I witnessed first hand as being part of the generation of war – what we are going through today is different, as the deterioration of the country is unprecedented. During the 1980s, we were able to escape bombs and snipers and take refuge in a different city or village, we were still able to find food and work, and we had hope for the future. Whereas today looks and feels like a descent into hell, with most of us who still roam the land are hanging by a thread. The level of despair is immeasurable today, and that is, in my opinion, one main difference between the recent past and our present life.

OS: The economy has suffered tremendously in recent years.  Apart from long-standing practices of corruption, there was the revolutionary movement from 2019, and the terrible blast in Summer of 2020.  How would you assess or critique the recent fate and current state of materialwell-being in Lebanon and Beirut?

PC: Lebanon is enduring an acute economic depression, inflation reaching triple digits, and the exchange rate keeps losing value. This is still affecting the population, especially the poor and middle class. I agree with the World Bank statement: “The social impact, which is already dire, could become catastrophic”. I honestly don’t know how long the local population will be able to survive with one of the lowest minimum wages in the world, and when the country’s food prices have become the highest in Southwestern Asia and North Africa. People can’t even find needed medicine or pay a hospital bill. They haven’t been able to access their money in banks since late 2019, and their lights may go off starting May 15 because cash for electricity generation is running out. 

OS: How would you assess the prospects for the young, the student body of Lebanon?  It’s common knowledge that for decades the pool or fund of human capital, of human talent in Lebanon is a kind of superlative supply for what is a nugatory demand, and that there has been for decades a brain-drain from Lebanon to other places.  Are prospects for the young just a continuation of this previous scenario or are there significant differences to the situation now, and how so?

PC: Now more than ever, and given the compounded effect of multiple crises, the Lebanese youth is facing a lack of work opportunities, rising costs of living and unemployment rates, and the absence of any state support. Many are growing disillusioned and desperate, and we are not even at the end of our crises. We should expect worse to come and it is going to be tougher for young people to pursue their higher studies, find a job, or even secure an entry visa elsewhere. 

OS: Lebanon is known for its fractious sectarianism.  Does this feature of the nation’s political, civil, and denominational make-up affect the young today as much as it may have done in decades past?

PC: Most students of mine and other university students, along with countless academics, activists, and artists who have been part of the October 17 ‘revolutionary movements’, have vehemently criticized sectarianism in all its forms and offered alternative paths, ranging from a complete separation between religion and politics to mediatory approaches. This is not a new phenomenon, as many individuals and organizations stood against sectarianism in the last decades, but we are witnessing change within student bodies, especially with secular groups winning elections in some of the most prestigious universities versus traditional sectarian groups.

OSYou have been involved at a grass-roots with the so-called ‘revolutionary’ upheavals in Lebanon and Beirut since they began in late 2019.  How would you characterize the nature of this movement?  And what do you think its effects have been and/or will be on Lebanese politics and thus on the prospects of the up-and-coming generation?

PC: I think it is still too soon to assess the October 17 revolutionary movements. I wrote a while ago that there are many ways of approaching the study of revolution in the contemporary world. According to a narrow definition, “revolution is a forcible overthrow of a government or social order, in favor of a new system”. In that perspective, revolutionary dynamics in Lebanon appear to several observers (whether anti-revolutionary or skeptics) as “minor disturbances”. According to these ‘experts’, as long as the socio-political and economic systems are “unchanged”, the so-called “hirak (movement) is not worthy to be called “revolution”, and “will soon end” or it just “ended”. However, a different definition of “revolution” – the one I use and develop – makes it appear as an ongoing project of deep confrontation, resistance, deconstruction, reconstruction, and systemic transformation. This project has no start per se, nor a specific end. In other words, Revolution with a big R is a process, and the October 17 revolutionary movements are only but a step towards overturning existing conditions and generating alternative socio-political and economic orders. As I see it, “revolution” in Lebanon isn’t a static object that can either be a “success” or a “failure”. It consists of several current dimensions and historical layers simultaneously, and when it is not roaring in public spaces, it is boiling in the minds, adapting, learning, and bouncing back.

OS: What’s it like being both a teacher and a business woman in today’s climate?  Detail, if you would, how the perspectives of your variegated work-roles have illuminated for you the current state of Lebanon?

PC: I wear several hats: scholar, university professor, visual artist, activist, consultant, program manager, wife, daughter, mother, etc. And these hats have been both challenging and rewarding. Definitely, my studies and work experience have helped me shape my knowledge and critical thinking, but my life experiences, with my family, friends, and colleagues, in Lebanon and abroad, have marked my identity and deeply contributed to what I have become today. Most certainly, I haven’t learned about resistance and resilience in books, but through my art, the arts and culture in my country and the region, and through the many struggles I have been going through, as well as the struggles of others around me.

OS: Given your answers to the questions above, what in your view is in store for Lebanon, and why?   

PC: As long as there are inequalities, social injustice, exclusion, oppression, violence, war, etc., and as long as there are possibilities of change, I do not think that revolutionary movements will end. As long as our backs are to the wall and our only way is forward and through our fears, and as long as there are no limitations we choose to impose on our will, imagination, resilience, patience and freedom, we will rise again from under the rubble. 

Photo credit: the opening image was originally posted to Flickr by jiangkeren

INTERVIEW PUBLISHED ON FINITOWORLD.COM (LONDON, UK) – CLICK HERE.

Crawling Out from Under the Rubble: On Becoming Iconoclasts

How and why did we let ourselves be continuously buried under the rubble? Without implicating ourselves in entrenching the Orientalist caricatures of Southwestern Asian societies as incapable of self-government, there are questions to be asked about quietist and conformist tendencies, about the ostrich-like behavior, and the zombie attitude. These questions do not lend themselves to easy answers. But engaging with them may facilitate critical assessment of the prospects for sustainable change.
According to Patricio Aylwin Azocar: “Ordinary men and women may often feel unmotivated to exert their citizenship, either because they cannot tell the difference between the different alternatives, or because they have lost faith in the political classes, or because they feel that the really important issues are not in their power to decide”. As for the well-known poet Adonis, he reproaches the deification of the political party, the ideology, and the community – Adonis opposes the sacralization that colors and creeps into politics, turning parliamentarians, ministers, and other public servants into demi-gods, their ideologies into gospels and political parties into quasi-sects.
Indeed, over the past decades, the legacy of multiple wars in Lebanon, including hypermnesia, and paradoxically the tabula rasa mentality and strategy, have produced in the minds of a good many Lebanese the illusion that somehow “somebody” – the warlord, the zaim, the political party, the sectarian community/belonging – but not the State (or the embodiment of the common management of our diversity), can provide for ALL needs, so why make much effort to fulfill what used to be considered in practice (or are considered in the Constitution) the responsibilities of any citizen?
As Larbi Sadiki describes Adonis in The Search for Arab Democracy, he is in all of this “an iconoclast”. “His predilection is for fluidity, plurality, and provisionalism”. The icons of Lebanese politics have all cultivated and entrenched political iconolatry, and that iconolatry has been internalized by many Lebanese, thus has weakened the case for citizenship. Adonis’s iconoclasm (desacralization) seems therefore justified, but in my opinion, when it comes to the Lebanese case, iconoclasm is not a generalized rebellion which will not take place given local divisions – and let us not forget the chaotic outcome of the so-called ‘Arab Spring’ in most countries where it occurred -, but a change-making process located in multiple local and diasporic social-political struggles already taking place.
Agents of dialogue, non-governmental organizations, academics, and activists have been trying their best, especially since the 1990s (and before), to raise awareness about the necessity of reforming the social-political system and of finding solutions to numerous crises such as the economic, environmental, cultural,…; crises of paradigms, identities, difference, indifference, intolerance, belligerence, ignorance, oppression, fanaticism, and of missionary zeal. However, if we want to shift from subjection, autocracy, blind faith, absolutism, fixity, non-participatory polity, and “denizenship” to citizenship and good governance, we will have to crawl out from under the rubble, we will have to desacralize, we will have to become iconoclasts, and by that I mean: we will have to start making use of the energy and creativity of all these agents and encourage new initiatives, to serve our society (and continue on serving) even from afar (Lebanese living in diaspora) while continuing our primary missions, to pull up the stories of people who have been silenced, to harness solidarity into forms of actions that would contribute to the change-making process in an efficient manner, and to redirect the substantial energy of our frustration – when our streets and lives are vanishing under piles of glass, debris and garbage – and turn it into positive, effective, unstoppable determination.
“If beyond hopelessness there is hope, I am hopeful” (Elias Khoury). And I am calling on my fellow academics and artists to further publicize/disseminate their knowledge as a catalyst for social-political change, to share and continue to share the myriad ways they use their expertise to expand public discourse and promote social justice, human rights, peacebuilding, and alternative diversity management approaches. Intellectual activism or public sociology – or social justice education/ peace education – is an important form of activism that should accompany street protests, boycotts, and demonstrations. It is about the democratization of knowledge, about facilitating other forms of activism by giving people data, symbols, and paradigms they can reference to back up their positions on social and political issues (as Popkewitz and others have noted, “Knowledge provides the principles through which options are made available, problems defined, and solutions considered as acceptable and effective”), by fostering dialogue and constructive criticism. It is about stepping out of the office and putting the accumulated research to use. It is about ‘being academic and artist’ as a social role, not just a job, especially when the silence of many maintains injustice, which it frequently does.
True that academia and the arts do more than influence society, they are also shaped by it, they reflect the antagonisms and reproduce them, they are contested sites where various agendas and desires are promoted and through which power circulates to produce and legitimate certain kinds of knowledge, experience and ways of knowing, but academia — and some aspects of artistic production — in Lebanon is also inherently an elitist hierarchical structure and most academics/artists are worried about keeping their jobs, getting tenure and selling their artworks. Furthermore, as Henry Giroux notes, “Neoliberalism assaulted all things public, sabotaged the basic contradiction between democratic values and market fundamentalism (…), it also weakened any viable notion of political agency by offering no language capable of connecting private considerations to public issues…As democratic values give way to commercial values, intellectual ambitions are often reduced to an instrument of the entrepreneurial self, and social visions are dismissed as hopelessly out of date”.

Yet despite these limitations and that of self-enclosure of the Ivory Tower, there are already engaged Lebanese academics and artists, iconoclasts, and they are making a difference, but more need to engage beyond their classrooms, books and academic journals, and ‘ateliers’, to be in the act of researching people, themselves, the dynamics of oppression and the politics of social interactions and injustices, to become aware of the people’s often unknowingly complicit in the process of oppression, to create knowledge in and through meaningful participation and action with others, to bring people together and contribute to finding reasons of solidarity, to transform boundaries into spaces where lives and pedagogies are constructed together in ways that work for social justice and lead to powerful possibilities, and where dialogic and open-ended praxis based on more collaborative and caring relationships is promoted.

*A text by Dr. Pamela Chrabieh — published on August 16, 2020, republished on April 13, 2021.

CAFCAW Youth March 2021 Webinar

As a founding member and member of the executive committee of CAFCAW, I was more than honored to attend this March 19, 2021 Youth Webinar.

“A different perspective on the youth in the Arab World: today CAFCAW gathered 30 young people from Palestine, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon.
They represent the ‘creative class,’ a socioeconomic group of young people who effectively sell their ideas, knowledge, and innovations in high-value-added professions. CAFCAW youth will select today the finalists civic youth initiatives to receive CAFCAW 2021 award.
Youth in the Arab world are facing immense challenges (Unemployment, political oppression, gender injustice, corruption, migration, etc.). But what people don’t know is that:
One out of five youth in the Arab World belong to the creative class. CAFCAW is proud to provide a forum for those members to share ideas and to get the needed training and mentoring” (Dr. Mitri Raheb).

“Interreligious Dialogue in the Middle East: the Case of Lebanon” Course at Saint Joseph University – Beirut – March 2021

Thanking my students from Germany and Spain for making it worthwhile to introduce them to interreligious dialogue in Lebanon while the country is collapsing.

To Maria, Lucia, Hannah, Joris, Leonard, Charlotte, Nikolaus, Ludwig, Nathan, Jacob, Guillermo and Eleni: you definitely encouraged me to keep struggling for conviviality. I hope this course inspired you to learn more about the hidden gems of this country, and the many spaces of dialogue that are often disregarded.

Course: Challenges, Opportunities and Praxis of Interreligious Dialogue in the Middle East: the Case of Lebanon.
Certificate of Study in the Historical and Religious Reality of the Middle East.
FACULTÉ DES SCIENCES RELIGIEUSES
Université Saint-Joseph de Beyrouth
March 2021

Join CAFCAW Youth Group & Programs in the Arab World

ندعوكم شبابنا وشاباتنا في الوطن العربي للإنضمام لنا في فريق القيادة الشابة التطوعي الدولي لنعمل سويا على التغيير الإيجابي في مجتمعاتنا يدا بيد، ولنصبح جزأ من عملية صنع القرار…
نتشارك بالأفكار، نلتقي في ورشات عمل، ونتفاعل من خلال التطوع في مجتمعاتنا…

نموذج الإنضمام في الرابط التالي:
https://forms.gle/Tz1LK8jAgGY9LJnV9

لمزيد من المعلومات، زيارة موقعنا الإلكتروني:
Www.cafcaw.org
FB: https://www.facebook.com/Cafcaw.org/

As one of the founding members of CAFCAW and member of its executive committee, I am proud of our young volunteers who are contributing effectively to the progress of their countries.
If you are interested in making our societies in the Arab world more inclusive, join us! Dr. Pamela Chrabieh

Il n’est jamais trop tôt pour se préparer au test de culture générale

Félicitations à ceux et celles qui ont réussi aux concours de médecine générale/médecine dentaire de Janvier 2020 à l’université Saint-Joseph de Beyrouth. Taux de réussite des étudiants qui ont suivi des cours de culture générale: 88% – – le plus élevé depuis 2012.

La seconde session des concours aura lieu en été! Il n’est jamais trop tard pour mieux se préparer. Les cours particuliers de culture générale seront dispensés dès la mi-mars 2020 à Mansourieh. Les cours en ligne sont aussi disponibles. Contactez Dr. Pamela Chrabieh pour plus d’informations: +9613008245. Les places sont limitées.

  • Concours des Facultés de Médecine Générale, Médecine Dentaire, Pharmacie, Nutrition, et de l’ESIB.
    ** Le test de culture générale – dont le coefficient est le plus élevé – nécessite une préparation adaptée aux besoins de chaque étudiant, d’où l’importance d’un suivi personnalisé.

Book Reviews: The Social Life of Memory. Violence, Trauma and Testimony in Lebanon and Morocco.

Norman Saadi Nikro and Sonja Hegasy, eds. The Social Life of Memory. Violence, Trauma, and Testimony in Lebanon and Morocco. Palgrave, 2017.

The volume is a part of a book series exploring the relationship between cultural heritage and conflict. It derives from the research project Transforming Memories: Cultural Production and Personal/Public Memory in Lebanon and Morocco (2012-2014). The volume brings together scholars from various theoretical backgrounds, including social anthropology, geography, comparative literature, Middle Eastern studies and cultural studies, to contribute to the field of social-memory studies. The key theme of the volume is the different meanings of memory in its relations with time and place. In eight chapters, the reader finds examples from literature, journalism, films and urban landscapes that constitute the social life of memory in various aesthetic forms, political mobilization and intergenerational relationships.

In the introductory chapter, the editors provide a rationale for studying Morocco and Lebanon together. Despite their distinct political and social contexts, Morocco and Lebanon have similar experiences of violence that were often characterized by enforced disappearance and direct clashes. The editors argue that, despite the different trajectories of the respective postcolonial histories of Lebanon and Morocco, the people in both countries have experienced repeated violence, patterns that persist despite many positive initiatives in education, cultural production, the economy and public welfare. In both Lebanon and Morocco, the political situations are characterized by protest movements of new generations, who discover new forms of preserving and transforming memory in both private and public realms. These practices show that dealing with the past is not a prerogative of the states and cannot be limited to formal practices of commemoration.

Chapter two suggests a novel understanding of waiting as a prolongation of violence after the period of political repressions during the reign of Morocco’s Hassan II between 1961 and 1999, known as the Years of Lead. On the other hand, waiting is also conceptualized as a political position taken by the family members of the disappeared. By giving a detailed account of one disappeared political activist’s and his family’s experience of waiting, Laura Menin brings to the fore the potential of waiting as a form of protest and political mobilization. She shows the multiple meanings of waiting in order to capture the effects of the politics of disappearance.

Temporality is a key theme in the intergenerational transformation of memory. Chapters seven through nine approach what Marianne Hirsch calls “postmemory” from different perspectives, partly through the storytelling and testimony of older generations who bear witness and new generations that have different (if any) knowledge about what happened. The authors show how sectarian narratives reveal different layers of memories (within family, political parties and sectarian communities, cultural memories and students’ own reinterpretations) and influence the intergenerational transformation of memory.

In Chapter nine, dealing with local activism in the Rif region of Morocco, postmemory takes another form. The narratives of those who experienced and participated in uprisings (including the uprisings in 1984 and 1987, known as the Bread riots) constitute a foundational ground for the contemporary activism both in Morocco and among the Moroccan Berber diaspora.

The comparative mode of the volume emerges in the two empirical contexts of Morocco and Lebanon and within the conceptual level. The foundational conceptual discrepancy originates from Pierre Nora’s thesis that memory has become concentrated as lieu, that is a formal practice of commemoration. Contrary to Nora’s thesis, the contributors to the volume suggest that their research shows, firstly, how different social and cultural practices put forward a broader understanding of memory as social environment or milieu. Secondly, they suggest that memory takes place as tensions between lieu and milieu, i.e. tension between official practice of commemoration and other practices of preserving memory that are initiated in societies.

Several chapters of the volume contribute to the field of memory studies by bringing a critical perspective on the ways that memory is understood and how the past may be reinterpreted through the future. A number of “how” questions are stated in order to specify the focus of the volume: e.g., “how emerging, local practices of social exchange and cultural production involve re-socializations of memories of trauma and violence” (p.8).

The diverse theoretical backgrounds of the contributors lead to various methodologies being applied and some authors are more transparent with the way they approach the material than others. Pamela Chrabieh in Chapter seven is particularly clear, while the others are less well articulated—Chapter three is an example. Some chapters are more theoretically substantive than others, which augments their contribution. Chapter eight, written by Norman Saadi Nikro, offers an excellent example bridging the conceptual and empirical domains, as he analyzes interviews of an older generation conducted by high-school students within the oral history project Badna Naaref (we want to know) through the relational prism of bearing witness.

Even though each chapter provides insight into the studied contexts, it may be challenging to draw conclusions about the conceptual relevancy of individual experiences, works of art and other examples for a broader context of managing postcolonial history. Moreover, the volume offers controversial and diverging evaluations of one and the same entity, including, for example, the Moroccan Equity and Reconciliation Commission (ERC). While Laura Menin focuses on the shortcomings of the ERC’s failure to name the perpetrators and the absence of criminal prosecution, Sonja Hegasy and Brahim El Guabli describe the positive effects of the ERC on the Moroccan civil society, media landscape and its potential for bringing mnemonic justice. Those different approaches to the same process exemplify the core thesis of the volume. The chapters of the book do not provide guidelines for historical judgements, instead they show the multiple ways of interpreting and engaging with the past, where it is not truth that shapes the history, but the future and its needs.

The overall impression of the book is positive. Contributing to social-memory studies, the volume is also a contribution to the transitional justice literature. Even though the concept of memory takes central place, the chapters reflect on problems of justice, forgiving and living together. The book attempts to bridge gaps between the theoretical concepts and practice, where individual experiences from real people give a face and voice to the abstract notions of memory and history, time and place. After reading the volume, reader gets a palette of different meanings of memory as a social practice, as an event. Having shown different examples of the social life of memory in postcolonial Morocco and Lebanon, the authors succeed in elucidating the idea of memory as milieu and show the tensions between the formal official account of memory and radical social and political practices.

That said, in order to grasp the multifaceted contexts, methodological and conceptual nexuses, the reader would benefit from being familiar with the Moroccan and Lebanese contexts before reading the volume. Moreover, I wish there were more interaction between the chapters, specifically within the introductory chapter. Different methodological and theoretical explanations leave an impression of incoherency. Although the separate chapters have value in themselves, they are not happily assembled in one book. Alternatively, there could have been a concluding chapter that would tie together all the various ideas and projects the volume contains.

ALEXANDRA LEBEDEVA
Uppsala University– Source: historicaldialogues.org/2020/02/05/book-review-the-social-life-of-memory-violence-trauma-and-testimony-in-lebanon-and-morocco/

Book Review 2: (March 2019):Imai, H. (2019). In: International Sociology34 (2), 178–180.