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  • alanalentin 11:42 on January 29, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Project   

    Contributors from The Netherlands 

    Murdered anti-Muslim Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh at a signing for his Book 'Allah Knows Best'

    Murdered anti-Muslim Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh at a signing for his Book 'Allah Knows Best'

    We are currently preparing a Journal Special Issue in which the papers presented at the december colloquium on Questioning the European ‘Crisis of Multiculturalism’ will be collected. The abstracts of these papers can be read by viting the ‘Abstracts’ page on this site. Today, two new authors have agreed to join the project. Sonja van Wichelen and Mark de Leeuw are two scholars from The Netherlands who work together. They contributed a very interesting chapter entitled ‘Transformations of “Dutchness”: From Happy Multiculturalism to the Crisis of Dutch liberalism’, to Identity, Belonging and Migration (Delanty, Wodak and Jones eds.).

  • mariastehle 14:10 on January 27, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    “Kanak TV” 

    Kanak TVby Maria Stehle

    I wanted to share this link with you, to the website of Kanak TV. Only the first clip is subtitled, but even without understanding every word, I think, the clip “Weisses Ghetto” will be interesting to many of you. I’d love to read what you think, since this is one way I’d like to approach the question of “humor” and “playfulness” as a form of intervention.

    • dralanalentin 14:18 on January 27, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Do you think it would be possible to trabslate the general sense of the Weisse Ghetto clip. I get the general point but it would ne nice to have some samples of what the people interviewed are saying. Are the responses very different among them?

  • mcincrisis 12:07 on January 20, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Germany, , Muslims   

    Burying Multiculturalism Alive in Germany 

    german-hijabIn Buried Alive: Multiculturalism in Germany (ISIM Review, Autumn 2005), Schirin Amir-Moazami argues that,

    “Recent discussions in Germany around modes of dealing with the growing cultural-religious plurality reveal a widespread consensus that the so-called Dutch “model of multiculturalism” is a complete failure. However further examination reveals that this current backlash against multiculturalism is more of a symbol for a widely held discomfort caused by the realization that Islam has become an integral part of German society.”

    Another interesting article by Mark Terkessidis argues (More …)

    • alana 16:21 on January 22, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      The ‘lacking humour’ comment is so universally reproduced it could become one of the central totems of the circularity of the crisis of multiculturalism discourse. In this way, Muslim reactions to the Jyllands Posten cartoons of the Prophet Muhammed become essentialised as an islamic inability to ‘take a joke’. In other ways, however. ‘good’ multiculturalism is centred precisely around constructions of humour where newly self-confident ‘ethnics’ are said to finally have become able to ‘poke fun at themselves’ a la Goodness Gracious Me and so on. What this doesn’t take into account is that the actual object of humour is more often than not the ‘host society’, not least left-liberals.

    • mariaterry 15:58 on January 22, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Mark Terkessidis published a really interesting article about this in 1998 in the taz, die tageszeitung on 1. August 1998 with the title “Die Kultur der Deutschen.” He describes the shift in the public debate as early as in the late-1990s – pre-9-11 and the 21st-century debates on global terrorism and islamist fundamentalism. In the introduction, he states (I translate from German, sorry if it sounds clumsy): “The current debate about multiculturalism circles around two main poles: the liberal left demands intercultural togetherness, the neo-conservative want an ethno-pluralistic side-by-side. At the core, these two positions complement each other: culinary pluralism and black TV moderators are good, headscarves and other signs of fundamentalist pre-modernism are not good.”
      Later in the article, he paraphrases the underlying discursive consensu in Germany between the liberal left and the right:
      “‘It seems that “we” are not excluding anyone. The Others are the ones who want to exclude; the Others are undemocratic, purist, monocultural, they lack humor and are fanatics; in one word -fundamentalists.”

  • alanalentin 18:31 on January 18, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    But there is something about their culture… 

    Anti-Vlaams Belang Poster

    Anti-Vlaams Belang Poster

    by Alana Lentin

    Something happened the other day that exemplifies what we are trying to explore in Questioning the European ‘Crisis of Multiculturalism’. And though rather banal, it is the anecdotal expression of the way in which the ‘circuits of belief’ through which the purported dangerousness of ‘too much diversity’ functions.

    Sussex University recently hosted a seminar on democracy and extremist parties given by a Belgian academic whose name is irrelevant to this discussion. The paper dealt with extremist parties mainly drawing on the case of the Belgian Vlaams Belang. The crux of the paper was that while everything must be done to ensure that such parties are excluded from the realm of mainstream (and it was assumed, democratic) politics, the reasons for why so many people are attracted by them should be taken seriously. (More …)

    • TreeIsFor 16:11 on February 23, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      It’s an old post, I know, but this might be of some interest to you. There’s a video featuring Michele Bachman, the Minnesota Congress woman, who is asked a question back in 2005 about the French youth rioting in the sub-urbs.


      Not that there’s the obviously denouncing “not all cultures are equal”, she also engages in a curious double-representation of the French culture as such.

      It’s the delicious shift from the “only in France…” to the next sentence “fruits of Leftism”, i.e. not at all something “only in France”. After mentioning Leftisim, she turns her focus on the Al Jazeera whatcing immigrants, and — voila! — we enter into a neat position where the inherent Right-Left division of France is covered by the praise of the Old and Authentic French culture. As a result, the Left is played, once again, out of the picture to represent the 21th century national ideology in its purest.

      Regards, Kimmo

  • Gavan Titley 11:31 on January 15, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Meet the Immigrants, The White Season   

    “Meet the Immigrants” and crisis coverage 

    Promo for the BBC's White Season

    Promo for the BBC's White Season

    by Gavan Titley

    This is an extended version of a review of the BBC/Open University series ‘Meet the Immigrants’ that I published recently in the journal Translocations.

    Yolanta Bikova, a Latvian explorer in Lyme Regis, has no real problem with the BBC/Open University camera that tracks her self-conscious moves. Creeping up to a manicured green she beckons the camera to look over her shoulder at the dollop of fantasia she has discovered; scones, lawn bowls and starched linens. Her arch reaction is suggestive; viewers might be meeting the immigrants, but who is the England/Britain that is doing the meeting? (More …)

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