October, 04 to October 08, 2012
The revolutionary momentum in the region has invigorated various forms of expressing protest, be it through songs, hip hop, graffiti and street murals, and new media, or by using humour and non-linearity in visual and narrative forms. Established worlds have been inverted by reversing deep-seated orders and bringing new players to the fore, players whose voices existed but were often not heard and rarely appeared en masse before 2011. In these inverted worlds, the metaphor of inversion also relates to the momentum carrying cultural change in the region.
In October 2012, the Orient-Institut Beirut organised Inverted Worlds: Congress on Cultural Motion in the Arab Region, dealing with arenas and manifestations of cultural motion in relation to revolution and transformation processes. The political vagueness of popular unrest and of its various backgrounds, as well as the complexity of the ensuing political itineraries, encouraged inquiry into the broad cultural resonances and diverse expressions which feed the aspirations for change and inspire resistance. Inverted Worlds thus considered both regional and cross-cultural aspects of recent events in the Arab world, relating back to dynamics at hand prior to the uprisings. Cultural Motion signifies the move of people and ideas towards a revision of power structures, social setups and cultural configurations, both on the home stage and in the international arena. The Arab drama of renewal and the movement towards diversified and globalized cultural orientations are closely interrelated.
Conference proceedings have been published in OIS 2 (2013) – Inverted Worlds: Cultural Motion in the Arab Region.