Talks and Discussion

Orientalism Traps

with Ahl al Kahf, Subhi Hadidi, Meltem Ahiska

Fri, Nov 1, 2013
2–4.30 pm
Two day ticket 12€/10€, Day ticket 8€/6€, Single ticket 5€/3€

This session will consider the status of Orientalism following the emergence of a number of social and political movements. Orientalist images of Tunis will be questioned, subverted, and transposed to Berlin, alongside neo-Orientalist perceptions of political Islam within the context of the Syrian uprising. Questions will be raised about the potential of the latest Turkish uprising to change a future and a past that are framed within Orientalist and Occidentalist practices.

Ahl al Kahf THE Orientalism

Subhi Hadidi Recycled Orientalism: Covering Islam(s) of the “Arab Spring”

Meltem Ahiska Thinking the Eruptions and Thresholds of Memory in Turkey through the Imperial Complex


Meltem Ahiska is a writer and professor of sociology at Boğaziçi University, Istanbul. She has published broadly on the topics of Occidentalism, Orientlism, and identity, social memory, gender, public space, and archives. She is a co-publisher of "Waiting for the Barbarians: A Tribute to Edward Said" (2008).

Ahl al Kahf is an artistic movement founded in 2011 in Tunis, a network that fulfils and spreads aesthetic terrorism. Ahl al Kahf is neither Tunisian nor Egyptian, nor of any other nationality. It is an epidemic propagated by contagion.

Subhi Hadidi is a Syrian critic and political commentator, who lives in Paris. He is renowned for his work on contemporary Arab poetry and translations, amongst others of works by Said. Hadidi serves also as a political commentator and regular contributor to Al-Quds Al-Arabi and Le Nouvel Afrique-Asie.

Hanan Toukan is a sociologist and currently a post-doc fellow at the Zentrum Moderner Orient, ZMO, Berlin. Her PhD thesis at SOAS, completed at University of London in 2011, looked at “global” and “local” discourses on culture and the arts and travelling theoretical conceptions and enactments of what “the political” holds in visual artistic production.