EUME Berliner Seminar
Wed 09 Dec 2015 | 16:00–17:30

EuroMaidanTahrir: Trajectories of Revolution and Violence in Eastern Europe and the Arab World

Mayssun Succarie (King's College London / Affiliated EUME Fellow 2015/2016) & Nataliya Gumenyuk (Kyiv, Ukraine / Visiting Fellow of the Berlin Brandenburg Ukraine Initiative), Chair: Cilja Harders (Freie Universität Berlin / Member of EUME)

Forum Transregionale Studien, Wallotstr. 14, 14193 Berlin

The Politics of Youth and the Revolutions in Eastern Europe and the Arab World
Mayssun Succarie's contribution will focus on the rise of youth and social media rhetoric to describe the uprisings both in 2010 in Tahrir as well as in 2014 in Maidan in the Ukraine. Media, academic and policy reports dubbed the revolts as youth-led uprisings. Succarie will look critically at the promotion of youth-as-revolutionary-actor rhetoric in both cases, comparing rhetorical claims to empirical evidence of actual patterns of activity and participation on the ground. Who promotes the youth frame? Why is it so widely embraced? Whose interests does it serve? What does the youth frame tell us, not just about these two events, but about the broader global cultural and political and economic context that we inhabit today.

Geopolitical Misunderstandings of the Ideas, Causes and Persistance of the Arab Spring and the Euromaidan
Nataliya Gumenyuk's contribution will be based on her book Maidan Tahrir. In Search of The Lost Revolution devoted to the post-Arab spring development in Egypt, Tunisia, Jordan, Syria, and also Turkey, Palestine, Iran and Iraq. The research is based on interviews with the Arab activists and apolitical hipsters, the artists and musicians, the cyber-dissidents and bureaucrats, the Islamists and atheists, the peasants and townspeople on the everyday post-war and post-revolutionary life, the disappointments and resilience, and the search for oneself and for inspiration. The main questions are: What happens after the dictator is deposed, and the people leave the square? And why when it comes to Ukraine, it was necessary to oppose East and West, Brussels and Moscow, the Russian and Ukrainian languages; and in the case of the Middle East, Islam and Christianity, Bin Laden and the White House, fundamentalists and liberals,… meanwhile, the people were taking to the streets to protest against corruption, the police’s impunity, the repression of freedom, and the poverty, trying to confront the regimes that allocated public resources among their family members by transferring money to offshore accounts in the Caymans and the Virgin Islands.

Mayssun Succarie received her PhD from the University of California, Berkeley in 2009, and a MA and BA from the American University of Beirut. 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 United States (Columbia & Brown Universities). Her research interests focus on youth, education, development and social movements in the Arab region, with a particular interest in studying the political, economic, cultural and social structures and processes that tie the region in complex and contradictory ways to the larger global political economy. Her first book, Youth Rising? The Politics of Youth in the Global Economy (co-authored with Stuart Tannock) was published earlier this year by Routledge's Critical Youth Studies series. In 2015 she will start teaching at the Institute of Middle Eastern Studies at King's College London.

Nataliya Gumenyuk is an independent Ukrainian journalist who specializes in foreign affairs and conflict reporting. During the last years, she has focused on post-Arab Spring developments in the Arab world and since the start of the revolution and later conflict in Ukraine she is reporting from the field on Maidan, Crimea and Donbas. She has recently published a book titled "Maidan Tahrir. In Search Of A Lost Revolution” (2015), in which she compares the two revolutionary developments and seeks transregional approaches to recent global political and social interconnections. She is a co-founder and recently elected head of Hromadske.TV (Public TV), a journalist-led initiative to create public broadcasting in Ukraine, and also is running Hromadske International newsrooms in English and Russian. Nataliya reported from nearly 50 countries. She holds a Master’s degree in Global Journalism Program from the Örebro University, Sweden.

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