Published on April 29, 2024 Updated on April 30, 2024

OMAM-REPI Seminar. Speaker: Mayssoun Sukarieh, King's College London, MSH Guest Professor

The Stories We Tell
April 25 – June 27

While acknowledging the importance of knowledge production about Gaza and Palestine in the struggle for liberation, in this talk I emphasize the need for caution. This is because the academic world has its own internal logic, funders as well as researchers have their own agendas, universities also have their own ideas about research in the Strip. We are already seeing the seeds of an industry created where academic grants and funders design the research that benefits groups in the academy but does not necessarily benefit Palestinian communities and struggles. There are by now so many calls for conferences and gatherings about what is going on in Gaza, I have been already approached to be part of grant applications for research projects in Gaza for “the day after.” This presentation will reflect on different education projects that consider education in its relation to political struggle and liberation, that focuses not only on education for social mobility but political activism, that refuses the division of knowledge production not connected to struggles, and that thinks of how we can, in the case of Gaza, learn from a long, worldwide tradition of education for liberation to rebuild the educational sector in radical ways.

Dr. Mayssoun Sukarieh is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of International Development. She received her PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. Since then, she has lectured in anthropology and development studies in universities around the Arab region (American University of Beirut; American University of Cairo) and the US (Columbia and Brown Universities). Mayssoun's research interests engage broadly with social, economic and cultural transformations in relation to neoliberal development in the Middle East. Mayssoun recently published her first book: Youth rising: The politics of youth in the Global economy. In addition to this scholarly monograph, she has published widely across an interdisciplinary range of highly ranked academic journals, including Anthropological Quarterly; Political and Legal Anthropology; Third World Quarterly; Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East; Race and Class; Journal of Youth Studies; and British Journal of Sociology of Education.

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(EN) The stories we tell matter. It matters how we craft them and what they say and don’t say about others and ourselves. In this hour of genocide, as we bear witness to unspeakable horror and the stifling censorship of educational, cultural and political institutions, we foreground Palestinian worlds to nourish learning and cultivate hope. Bringing together a set of exceptional scholars, artists and activists, this program invites us to confront what we cannot longer unsee and to listen to what has been muzzled. Through conversations, poetry, music, and films we aim to unsettle all-too-predictable story lines by repositioning words and silences as historical agents of complex and ongoing transformations.

(FR) Les histoires que nous racontons sont importantes. La manière dont nous les élaborons et ce qu'elles disent ou ne disent pas sur les autres et sur nous-mêmes sont importants. En cette heure de génocide, alors que nous sommes témoins d'une horreur indicible et de la censure étouffante des institutions éducatives, culturelles et politiques, nous mettons en avant les mondes palestiniens pour nourrir l'apprentissage et cultiver l'espoir. Réunissant un ensemble d'universitaires, d'artistes et d'activistes exceptionnels, ce programme nous invite à affronter ce que nous ne pouvons plus voir et à écouter ce qui a été muselé. À travers des conversations, de la poésie, de la musique et des films, nous visons à déstabiliser les lignes d'histoire trop prévisibles en repositionnant les mots et les silences en tant qu'agents historiques de transformations complexes et continues.
This program is organized by OMAM and REPI in collaboration with AADPT, De Appel, Palestine Solidarity Network, Citylab Pianofabriek, The Kitchen, KANAL-Centre Pompidou, Poetik Riots, Globe Aroma, Radio Al Hara, Sophia, Kaaitheater and United Screens for Palestine.

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On the April 30, 2024