Dusting off lost futures: Recovering leftist pasts in the Arab world
by dr. Judith Naeff (Middle Eastern Studies, Leiden University)
In a post-socialist and post-colonial world and amidst the ruinous aftermath of popular revolts in the region, Arab artists tentatively explore earlier episodes of a long struggle for social justice. What was it like to be a leftist militant in the 1970s? What echos of the once confident anticipation of a communist horizon can we make out in the Arab world today? How to recover these memories without collapsing in mere nostalgic yearning for an anticipated future now forever lost?
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In this lecture, Judith Naeff analyses how the Lebanese Rania and Raed Rafei and the French-Moroccan Bouchra Khalili engage with these questions in their video art, shedding light upon their dynamic relations between past, present and future.
About the Author: Judith Naeff is assistant professor in Cultures of the Middle East at Leiden University. With a background in Arabic Studies and Literary Studies, she completed her PhD at the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis in 2016. In December 2017 she published her book titled: Precarious Imaginaries of Beirut.