EUME Berliner Seminar
Mi 05 Jun 2024 | 17:00–18:30

Not Just Arts: The Political Economies of Palestinian Cultural Productions in Haifa, Ramallah and Berlin

Hashem Abushama (Oxford University / EUME Fellow 2023-25), Chair: Himmat Zoubi (EUME Fellow 2019-24)

Forum Transregionale Studien, Wallotstr. 14, 14193 Berlin

This talk examines the political economies of Palestinian cultural productions in Haifa (1948 Palestine) and Ramallah (occupied territories). It takes the cities as two connected yet distinctly different sites in the production of racial capitalism and settler colonialism. I look at everyday processes of cultural production (theatre, music, and visual arts) and their intertwinement with processes of market reconfiguration, gentrification, and racialization following the neoliberalisation of Israel in 1985. I try to weave together in-depth interviews, counter-mapping, visual analysis, and archival research to trace processes of socio-spatial formation and to offer a materialist understanding of cultural productions that shows how neoliberal capitalism adapts itself to colonial dispossession and racialization. Keeping in mind these questions around the relationships between capitalism, class formation, and arts, the talk concludes with preliminary reflections on how to bring a materialist approach to bear on Arab and Palestinian cultural production in Berlin—the city with the largest Palestinian diaspora in Europe. In sketching this approach to Berlin, questions arise around the urban policing of Arab neighbourhoods, especially in the wake of the unfolding genocide in Gaza, and its implications for the city’s Arab communities and their socio-cultural lives. By traversing the three cities, the concern is with how to think about and with arts as entry points into state violence, class formation, and cultural and artistic expression.

Hashem Abushama is a Departmental Lecturer at the School of Geography and the Environment (SoGE) at the University of Oxford. He is a human geographer with interests in urban studies, cultural studies, critical development studies, and postcolonial geographies. He holds a DPhil in Human Geography and an MSc in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies from the University of Oxford, and a BA in Peace and Global Studies from Earlham College in the United States. His writings have appeared in the Jerusalem Quarterly, Refuge Journal, the Stuart Hall Foundation, and Palestine Square. 

Himmat Zoubi is a Palestinian researcher and feminist activist. She received her PhD in Sociology from Ben-Gurion University and holds two Master's degrees, one in Criminology and another in Gender Studies. Her work focuses on cities and urbanization in colonial context. She published several book chapters and articles on settler colonialism cities, Palestinian feminist movements, indigenous knowledge and resistance. Zoubi was a EUME Fellow during the academic years 2018-21. In 2021/22 she was a postdoctoral fellow of the International Research Group on Authoritarianism and Counter-Strategies (IRGAC) at Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung, associated with The Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies at the Freie Universität, Berlin and EUME. In the academic years 2022-24, she remains a EUME Fellow.

 

Please note that the Berliner Seminar will take place on-site at the Forum Transregionale Studien. We kindly ask for prior registration via eume(at)trafo-berlin.de. Depending on approval by the speaker(s), the Berliner Seminar will be recorded. All audio recordings of the Berliner Seminar are available on SoundCloud.

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