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Research in Marburg

Marburg scholars are studying the background and consequences of the political upheavals that have shaped the region from Morocco to Yemen since 2011. They are focusing in particular on key players in civil society, who are reflecting – through art, for example – on deep-seated social developments that have received scant attention from scholars to date.

In Arab countries, more so than in Europe, art is a means to convey political messages. »It is often subversive and far more closely tied to political and social developments than in Germany or Europe at the moment,« says Marburg Arab Studies Professor Friederike Pannewick. This is especially true in the wake of the upheavals known collectively as the »Arab Spring«. Literature, theater, music, film and graffiti are all important forms of expression that people use to process their experiences of suffering and death under dictatorships, and to express their hopes and dreams. Through art, they can address sensitive issues that are otherwise taboo in public. This is why Prof. Dr. Pannewick, a 2012 Leibniz Prize winner, always considers Arab literature, art and culture within their context. »They are the seismograph of a society,« she notes.

Read more in Research in Marburg 2010-2014, 13.