Topic: Inspiring Activism? The Role of Syrian Artists in the Context of the War

Thesis timeframe:
Application deadline: 22 May 2019


This MA will be an integral part of the TRANSFORM project. The role of the MA will be to conduct independent research on the role of art and artists in processes of transformation in contexts of violent conflict. Developing his or her own detailed proposal within the context of the larger project, the student will be asked to explore the question of whether and how artistic products are inspired by and inspire a wish to contribute to societal transformation in the run-up and during the violent conflict in Syria. This could include tracing the motivations of the artists and the impacts of their artistic products, as creative forms of expression have the power to channel inspiration and ultimately may lead to political action. Artistic forms of expression such as poetry, theatre and visual arts may have the function of providing commentary to society and have in a number of contexts played a concrete role in mobilizing for or against war. At the same time, artists may engage in their art for the sole purpose of creating, in particular in context of violence and war. Art may be what enables human beings in 'dark times' to hold on to their humanity.

Students from a range of humanities and social sciences backgrounds can apply. Arabic language skills are recommended to facilitate the data collection. The student will be encouraged to present his or her results within the Seminar Series of the Centre on Culture and Violent Conflict.


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