#Aesthetics&CulturalPractice is a thread of the #MECAM series that addresses and redresses questions such as how aesthetic representations of disparity and entanglement are narrated, visualized, and performed in order to present the futures on offer to their respective societies. It considers the profound influence that societal changes have exerted on aesthetics and cultural practices (and vice-versa).
The thread emerged from the collaborative work of the Interdisciplinary Fellow Group “Aesthetics & Cultural Practice” at MECAM, and has been established by MECAM fellows Rasha Chatta (Freie Universität Berlin), Sahar El Echi (École Superieure de l’Audiovisuel et du Cinema, Tunis), Farouk El Maarouf (Universität Gießen), Katarzyna Falęcka (Newcastle University), Teresa Pepe (Universitetet Oslo), Angela Rabing (Universität Bremen), and Felix Lang (coordination, Universität Marburg).
Annamaria Bianco’s contribution aims to show how Arab migration writings and future writings have increasingly ended up overlapping, in the wake of the “speculative turn” taken by contemporary fiction. Through a review of a few novels published after the so-called “refugee crisis” in 2015 and drawing on different studies as well as on the notion of “refugeedom”, the author will show how this literary genre juxtaposes the documentary function of prose with narrative strategies of estrangement and defamiliarization that aim to generate in the reader a desire to act on the present, to redeem the past and change the future of hospitality worldwide.
By Yousra Sbaihi. Not many Maghrebis have the chance to perform on some of Europe’s most prestigious comedy shows. However, the few who have successfully climbed their way up to the stage, I advance, are disrupting the theatrics of white francophone stand-up shows.
Par Yousra Sbaihi. Peu de Maghrébins ont la chance de se produire dans les spectacles d’humour les plus prestigieux d’Europe. Cependant, les rares qui ont réussi à se frayer un chemin jusqu’à la scène, à mon avis, viennent bousculer la théâtralité des spectacles de stand-up francophones blancs.
Interview with El Meya by Katarzyna Falęcka. The artist Maya Benchikh El Fegoun (El Meya) was born in 1988 in Constantine, Algeria. Her paintings, often populated by women, respond to different visual legacies that include Orientalist images and the iconography of the Algerian War of Independence. El Meya is interested in the interiority of women, their dreams, desires, sins, life forms, and sociability.
L’artiste Maya Benchikh El Fegoun (El Meya) est née en 1988 à Constantine, en Algérie. Ses peintures sont souvent peuplées de femmes, car elle réagit à différents héritages visuels, notamment les images orientalistes ou l’iconographie de la guerre d’indépendance algérienne.
By Alena Strohmaier. “Politics in the Middle East is now seen”, proclaimed political scientist and director of the Middle East and North Africa programme at Chatham House Lina Khatib in 2012, designating a new era of political activism in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).
I’ll start by stating that not all comics at the core of my scholarship were created in the digital age. Yet, artists working today are very active in the blogosphere. The online dissemination of comics – and, in particular, those that critique authoritarian regimes or bear witness to shared and/or individual experiences of political trauma – keeps pace with the general dissemination of information on the internet.
By Teresa Pepe. On 13 July 2021, the MECAM research cluster “Aesthetics and Cultural Practice” hosted a talk by Kawthar Ayyed, “La science-fiction et l’anticipation [Science Fiction and Anticipation]”, in the framework of the research initiative “Imagining the Future: Dealing with Disparities”.
By Farouk El Maarouf. There is a Moroccan community (based particularly in the Rabat/Sale regions) of vernacular dealers, connoisseurs, and savvy art practitioners, who, like their classic elite fellows, have a great deal of knowledge about the fine arts.
By Angela Rabing. Abou Bakar Sidibé is a co-director of the films Les Sauteurs – Those Who Jump (2016) and My New European Life (2019). In both, he documents his life as migrant who tries to find a way to Europe and build a life there.