Description: For thousands of years, Palestine and the East Mediterranean have been subject to constant colonial interference which has denied the indigenous population an independent, authentic historical narrative. Basem L. Ra’ad uncovers this history and begins the process of reconnecting it to contemporary peoples. Perceptions of the region have been influenced by the operation of “Western civilization” and by many other inherited cultural-religious preconceptions. The region itself has been disenfranchised and prevented from developing its own comprehensive cultural history. Ra’ad’s findings are an important step towards reconstructing an alternative history, one which dispels many of the myths and traps relating to religions, languages, peoples and sites. This highly original work is an essential text for students of Middle Eastern history, politics and culture.
Description: This volume addresses contemporary activist practices that aim to interrupt and reorient politics as well as culture. The specific tactics analyzed here are diverse, ranging from culture jamming, sousveillance, media hoaxing, adbusting, subvertising, street art, to hacktivism, billboard liberation, and urban guerilla, to name but a few. Though indebted to the artistic and political movements of the past, this form of activism brings a novel dimension to public protest with its insistence on humor, playfulness, and confusion. This book attempts to grasp both the old and new aspects of contemporary activist practices, as well as their common characteristics and internal varieties. It attempts to open up space for the acknowledgement of the ways in which contemporary capitalism affects all our lives, and for the reflection on possible modes of struggling with it. It focuses on the possibilities that different activist tactics enable, the ways in which those may be innovative or destructive, as well as on their complications and dilemmas. The encounter between the insights of political, social and critical theory on the one hand and activist visions and struggles on the other is urgent and appealing. The essays collected here all explore such a confrontational collaboration, testing its limits and productiveness, in theory as well as in practice. In a mutually beneficial relationship, theoretical concepts are rethought through activist practices, while those activist practices are developed with the help of the insights of critical theory. This volume brings scholars and activists together in the hope of establishing a productive dialogue between the theorizations of the intricacies of our times and the subversive practices that deal with them.