Dossier: Places of Dialogue

Thomas Ostermeier. Photo: Ali Güler. © Thomas Ostermeier

Interview with Thomas Ostermeier

"An Enemy of the People" in Istanbul

Thomas Ostermeier is the artistic director of the Berlin Schaubühne and one of the most creative figures among the younger generation of German theatre directors. His productions are incisive and provocative – something he demonstrated again recently at this year's theatre festival in Istanbul with Henrik Ibsen's play "An Enemy of the People". He spoke to Anna EsserMore

People in Yavuz Sultan Selim Mosque in Mannheim (photo: dpa/picture-alliance)

The "Muslim Associations as Community Activists" project

Open dialogue on thorny issues

Beyond all the intellectual debates about their religion, most Muslims in Germany face difficulties in their everyday lives that they would dearly like to solve. The Goethe-Institut, in co-operation with the Robert Bosch Stiftung, has initiated a project called "Muslim Associations as Community Activists". The project seeks not only to create stronger ties between mosque associations in German cities and the city authorities but also to improve relations between the various Muslim denominations. By Claudia MendeMore

Performance of Marc Sinan's "Dede Korkut" (photo: Thomas Aurin)

Interview with the composer Marc Sinan

A modern-day Bartók of Turkic music

Dede Korkut, the best-known of the epic stories of the Oghuz Turks, and the music that goes with it form the basis of Marc Sinan's new docu-fictional musical theatre production, "Dede Korkut – The Story of Tepegoz". Astrid Kaminski spoke to the composerMore

The Moroccan city of Tétouan (photo: public domain)

Interview with M'Hammad Bennaboud

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The Muslims and Jews of Tétouan

M'Hammad Bennaboud is a historian who knows the Medina of Tétouan in Morocco inside out. He is also familiar with the great changes the city has undergone over the past hundred years. Nathalie Galesne spoke to him about the long history of Jewish–Muslim co-existence in the cityMore

Paolo Dall'Oglio (photo: AFP/Getty Images)

Abduction in Syria of Paolo Dall'Oglio

A voice of peace in a wilderness of violence

The Italian Jesuit Paolo Dall'Oglio was abducted eight months ago in the northern Syrian city of Raqqa. There has been no trace of him since. A popular figure in Syria, the priest has been a consistent champion of dialogue between Christians and Muslims. He was one of the few members of the Church to align himself with the opposition right at the start of the uprising against Assad in March 2011. By Claudia MendeMore

Ibrahim Nehme, editor-in-chief of "The Outpost" (photo: Ieva Saudargaite)gaite

The Lebanese magazine "The Outpost"

Road map to an uncensored world

The pan-Arab magazine "The Outpost" is produced on a quarterly basis in Beirut. Only one year after its establishment, it is already attracting international attention. Astrid Kaminski took a closer look at the magazine and spoke to its editor-in-chief, Ibrahim Nehme, about its successMore

Esra Küçük (photo: David Ausserhofer)

Young Islam Conference

Interface between politics and society

The Young Islam Conference sees itself as both a forum for dialogue and a mouthpiece for young Muslims and non-Muslims alike. It seeks to counter prejudice and negative ideas about Islam in Germany. Shohreh Karimian spoke to Esra Küçük, the managing director of the Young Islam Conference, about the forum's background and aimsMore

People at the Bait al Karama restaurant sit down at table in anticipation of a meal together (photo: Ulrike Schleicher)

Women's centre "Bait al Karama"

Nablus is cooking again!

Kanafeh, spices, oils and breads of the finest quality – Nablus has always been renowned for its excellent cuisine. The Bait al Karama initiative seeks to raise the profile of this cuisine and to underline the importance of food for any culture. Ulrike Schleicher visited Bait al Karama and its cookery school, the first organised by women in the West BankMore

Dr Naika Foroutan (photo: picture-alliance/ZB)

Interview with Naika Foroutan on Germany's Islam Conference

Encouraging developments

Germany's Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière has announced that the German Islam Conference will no longer concern itself with security issues. For sociologist Naika Foroutan of Berlin's Humboldt University, this is a positive sign. At last, the conference will be able to concentrate on ensuring religious equality for Muslims in Germany. Claudia Mende spoke to herMore

Photo of a Nemashim theatre production entitled "Remembering the return to Haifa" (photo: Flickr.com)

Book review: Uri Shani's "Nemashim" theatre project

Creating a level playing field

In his book, the Israeli theatre director and drama teacher Uri Shani describes the ups and downs of an Arab–Hebrew community theatre project known as "Nemashim". Julie Schwannecke read the book and spoke with the authorMore

The Greek town of Dimitsana (photo: Fotalia/Dimitrios Rizopoulos)

Nefin Dinc's documentary "The Other Town"

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A universal story of ethnic hatred

Two towns – one in Turkey, the other in Greece – similar yet infused by mutual dislike. Birgi and Dimitsana are both "the other town" in Turkish film-maker Nefin Dinc's eponymous prize-winning documentary, which investigates the mutual animosity between two towns. By Danilo EliaMore

Turkish riot police in clouds of tear gas in Istanbul during the move to clear Gezi Park on 15 June 2013 (photo: Reuters)

Culture in Turkey before and after Gezi

The end of Cool Istanbul

By bursting the bubble of mainstream discourse, there is no doubt that the Gezi protests transformed the horizon of grassroots political praxis in Turkey. Should we expect an equally drastic change in the domain of culture and the arts? After Gezi, is it still possible for the cultural industry to cling on to the easily marketable "self-Orientalising" currency that has been so fashionable over the past 10 years? By Mutlu YetkinMore

Film scene from “Bethlehem” (photo: real fiction film distribution)

Israeli cinema: "Bethlehem"

Beloved enemy

The friendship between an Israeli intelligence officer and his Palestinian informant makes for an explosive subject. Film director Yuval Adler takes up the theme in his gripping thriller "Bethlehem". Annabelle Steffes watched the filmMore

Young demonstrators on Istiklal Street in Istanbul on 6 July 2013 (photo: BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images)

Youth and protest in Turkey

"The pieces of the mosaic are shifting"

The Gezi Park protests in Turkey may have died down, but the social commitment of many young people is still high, and their battle for self-determination and participation continues. An overview by Anna Esser in IstanbulMore

Translations of Classical Islamic Literature

From the Emotional Orient to the Distortion of Islam

Why does classical Oriental poetry still sound so ornate to western ears? Blame the translations. These are still following the model of the eighteenth century, when the myth arose that Islamic poets were sentimental geniuses in the realm of emotion and romance. An essay by Stefan WeidnerMore

Caroline Link's Film "Exit Marrakech"

Understanding the Cultural "Other"

With her exquisite and sensitive film "Exit Marrakech", Caroline Link demonstrates genuine openness towards Morocco – the beauty of its landscape, the social diversity, and the country's cultural wealth, as well as for its social extremes and contradictions. A review by Christoph LeistenMore

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