Participation, Sharing, Exchanging

    About Fikrun

    Fikrun wa Fann was a cultural magazine published by the Goethe Institute from 1963 to 2016 that supported and shaped the cultural exchange between Germany and Islamic countries. Together with the publishing of the last issue, “Flight and Displacement” (issue 105), in autumn of 2016 the maintenance and updating of this online portal was ceased.
    Netzwerkdiagramm. Foto: Michael Krupp © Goethe-Institut


    From the late 1960s onwards a powerful idea has evolved, contemporaneously with and inspired by the student movement, encompassing both art and politics. It’s referred to by the term ‘participation’. In brief, this is about breaking down barriers between artist and public, between politicians and people; ideally, doing away with them altogether. By Stefan WeidnerMore ...
    The Mosque of Gurna. Photo: Mark Ryckaert

    Rethinking Participation
    On the New Ethic of Collaboration

    An over-powerful, authoritarian bureaucracy still exists, and repeated attempts are made to exclude people from participating in society around the globe. But movements are springing up all over the world where people are not only protesting against the arrogance of the powerful, but also trying out new forms of co-operation in a practical manner. Mark Terkessidis has considered the reasons for these emerging forms of participation and their prospects for the future. By Mark Terkessidis More ...
    Intervention in the public space, as part of Jericho – Beyond the Celestial and Terrestrial, 05.10.2012 © Birzeit Museum 2012

    Is Worldwide Sharing Possible?
    Convivialism as the New Internationalism

    Convivialism is a school of thought that is based on the idea of sharing and exchanging. It stands in opposition to the self-serving mentality of pure economics and seeks to ensure an intact relationship between humankind and nature. But can something that works in a restricted, local context also be a success at global level? Claus Leggewie, one of Germany’s leading intellectuals and an activist for the convivialist movement, investigates. By Claus Leggewie More ...
    Scene from a play staged by Nora Amin. Photo: La Musica / Nora Amin

    Theatre of Participation
    The Project of Creating a ‘Theatre of the Oppressed’ for Egypt

    The Theatre of the Oppressed, established by the revolutionary Brazilian theatre maker Augusto Boal, is an ideal way of addressing the situation in Egypt. The well-known Egyptian activist and theatre maker Nora Amin explains how this form of theatre works, and what it is capable of achieving in that country. By Nora AminMore ...
    The twin towers of the National Bank of Egypt in Cairo. Photo: Stefan Weidner

    Sharing and Caring
    Islamic Ideas for Fair Economic Management Today

    Islamic economic thought has, since time immemorial, contained numerous elements that can still offer solutions to current economic problems. According to Islamic teaching, the pursuit of profit can be reconciled with being socially considerate. Souheil Thabti explains how this harmony between the economic players is established and created. By Souheil ThabtiMore ...
    Size and structure of the Islamic finance industry. Sources: ICD Thomson Reuters, Islamic Finance Development Report 2014, State of Global Islamic Economy 2014/2015 Report.

    Islamic Finance
    Ideals, Misconceptions, Progress

    To a large degree, the public perception of Islamic finance has been formed by ideals which are often misunderstood as descriptions of realities. This has created a number of serious misconceptions about Islamic finance. While the global progress of Islamic finance cannot be denied, it is sometimes measured by inadequate benchmarks. By Volker NienhausMore ...
    Building of the Faisal Islamic Bank in Cairo. Photo: Stefan Weidner

    Islam and the Economic Development
    The Example of Syria

    Religious reasons are often said to be behind the greater economic development of the West compared to that of the Islamic world. A look at the economic history of the Middle East dismisses this idea, and highlights instead the question of which economic system better serves people’s real interests, as the Syrian economic historian Ali Al-Saleh explains. By Ali Al-SalehMore ...
    A scene from Mitumba by Stephanie Thiersch’s dance company Mouvoir, illustrating the culture of giving and taking. Photo:

    The World Order of Clothes
    Stephanie Thiersch’s Mitumba: Made in Kenya

    Dance and economics, dance and politics, dance and criticism – this combination is not an avant-garde artist’s fantasy but reality, as demonstrated by the international cast of Mitumba, a dance performance by the German-based dance company MOUVOIR. The dance critic Arnd Wesemann introduces the piece. By Arnd WesemannMore ...
     7000 basalt steles piled up in front of the Museum Fridericianum in Kassel. © Stiftung 7000 Eichen. Photo: Dieter Schwerdtle

    Everyone Is an Artist
    The Participative Anthroposophy of the Artist Joseph Beuys

    Joseph Beuys’ concept of art culminated in the sentence ‘Everyone is an artist’. In this, romantic and anthroposophical movements came together in an all-encompassing philosophy of life, the central element of which is participation. Against the backdrop of current world economic problems, what can this idea of participation contribute to art, and to the world? By Konstantin AdamopoulosMore ...
    Crossing Jericho’, a public intervention by Susanne Bosch, part of Jericho – Beyond the Celestial and Terrestrial, 05.10.2012 © Birzeit Museum 2012

    Between Politics and Aesthetics
    Participation in Art

    The German artist Susanne Bosch, who works internationally, explains how the concept of participation in the field of art came about, and examines current debate on the subject. In this article, she tells us why she herself is attracted to this type of artistic work, and what this new art form aims to achieve. With reference to an example of her work in the Islamic world, she explains how she puts the art form into practice. By Susanne BoschMore ...
    Panel at the Goethe-Institut’s conference ‘Politics of Art’. Photo: Caroline Dose / Goethe-Institut

    Partisans of Sensuality
    How to Think Aesthetics in a Political Context

    The question concerning the political character of art is intertwined with the idea of the autonomy of art as its complementary counterpart. It keeps cropping up in alternative forms in different historical and social contexts. The answers to this question range from ‘Art is always political’ to ‘Art can never be political’, ‘Art must never be political’, and ‘Art must always be political’. What position is designated to art in the social system? Ingo Arend reports on a congress in Berlin that marked a revealing change of heart by the left-wing art intelligentsia. By Ingo ArendMore ...
    Helpling Verena Weinart can make a living as a cleaner. Photo: Helpling

    Who Shares Loses
    A Self-Experiment in the Sharing Economy

    Inexpensive cleaners, taxi drivers and accommodation are now affordable for everyone in expensive Europe, thanks to networking via Internet and smartphone. Is this the first step towards a new, sustainable social order, in which everyone shares everything and we all have it better, despite – or indeed specifically because of – the fact that we are sharing? Or is the opposite the case? Caroline Michel has conducted her own experiment in search of answers. By Caroline MichelMore ...
    The OMNIBUS FOR DIRECT DEMOCRACY in front of the Reichstag parliament building in Berlin. Photo: Michael von der Lohe / Bus für direkte Demokratie

    The Warmth Character of Thought
    Joseph Beuys’ Idea of an Omnibus for All, by All, with All

    For many years now, the OMNIBUS FOR DIRECT DEMOCRACY has been travelling around Germany and Europe, encouraging people to wrest back democracy from the politicians and play a greater role in shaping it by taking the initiative. The roots of this initiative – the only one of its kind in the world – can be traced back to the German artist Joseph Beuys and his concept of how we can shape the way we live together (‘social sculpture’ – society as a work of art). By Michael von der LoheMore ...
    Above: Drawing by Johannes Stüttgen illustrating the idea of direct democracy, for the OMNIBUS FOR DIRECT DEMOCRACY’s stop in Budapest on 6.11.2009. Photo: Werner Küppers

    Safe Surfing for All?
    Freedom and Participation Against Surveillance and Crime

    In today’s world, access to an Internet where one does not have to constantly worry about being monitored is absolutely essential for political participation. The Tor browser is one way of getting such access. This browser has not only been used by people like Edward Snowden and Julian Assange, it is also, unfortunately, exploited by criminals. Walter van Rossum takes a closer look at how surveillance-free surfing works. By Walter van RossumMore ...
    Sadik al-Azm being awarded the Goethe-Medal. Photo: © Maik Schuck / Goethe-Institut

    Intellectual Pioneer and Critic
    Laudatory Speech for the Arab Philosopher Sadik al-Azm

    The Syrian philosopher Sadik al-Azm is one of the rare Arab thinkers who have managed to criticise both Islam and the ostensibly secular regimes of the Arab world. His writings have given us – both Western and Arab readers – a better understanding of the Arab world. For this, Sadik al-Azm has just been awarded the Goethe Medal. By Stefan WildMore ...

    Fikrun wa Fann as an e-paper

    Fikrun wa Fann as an e-paper

    Take Fikrun wa Fann "Participation, Sharing, Exchanging" with you as an e-paper. In Arabic, Persian, English, German. Go to download...

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