Dr. Nadeem Karkabi -Politics of Pleasure, Normalization and Liberation at the Palestinian Alternative Music Scene

Dr. Nadeem Karkabi -Politics of Pleasure, Normalization and Liberation at the Palestinian Alternative Music Scene
Activity Date: 
Monday, Jan 23, 2017

The lecture was on how pleasure has recently become the primary avenue for Palestinians to both claim political agency of opposition and demonstrate universal ethics of normal human conformity.
I contextualized politics of pleasure historically, as it appears after representations of heroic resistance and suffering victimhood, to claim international recognition of Palestinians. I then spoke how normal pleasures are interwoven with the abnormal conditions in occupied Palestine and how they eventually lead to paradoxical tensions, stemming from the way Israeli sovereignty is enforced on Palestinians. I moved on to explain that this paradox of normalization does not only pose entanglements between the wish for normal life and the fear from supporting the normalization of Israeli occupation, but reveals tautological links between recognizable Palestinian humanity and the assertion of “normal” subjecthood. After speaking about the implications of the politics of pleasure and the paradox of normalization in Palestine, through ethnographic cases from the field of music, I then discussed the experience of liberation at Palestinian electronic music events, while tying pleasure as an empowering playful activity to unproductive and wasteful expenditure. In the second part of the colloquium, a vibrant conversation took place between the fellows about the meaning of resistance, liberation, sexuality, normality, and the binary of pleasure/pain across different disciplines.