Lecture: Representing a History of Violence through Êzîdî Poetry (24/11/2019)
Lecture organized in partnership with the French Institue in Erbil
Mairéad Smith is a Masters graduate of the Centre for Middle Eastern Studies at Lund University, Sweden and a former Erasmus Mundus MARHABA scholarship holder at Koya University in Iraqi Kurdistan. Mairéad’s research interests are focused on minority rights and the intersection between narrative, collective identity and contestations of the past, particularly in relation to minority groups in the Middle East.
The 2014 Êzîdî Genocide caused a rupture in the social fabric of the Iraqi religious Êzîdî minority. search for meaning in the aftermath of violence has caused a group of Şingali poets to reconstruct memories of the past through their narration in Arabic prose poetry. A narrative analysis has been used on a selection of poems written and interviews conducted with five poets. I investigate their trauma process through adopting the theory of a cultural trauma, viewing “trauma” from a social constructivist point of view, in an attempt to advance and challenge trauma theory and position the importance of representation in empowering lost voices. Through reconstructing the past in the present, the poets narrate counter-histories that give access to untold experiences rather than the narration of a singular event. Instead these narratives comprise of stories of the everyday in which violence is embedded. In recounting these memories, the poets serve to historicise their suffering while rebuilding the foundation of the collective and relating themselves to wider communities fostering attachments, solidarity and a critical vision for the future.
Date & Time
Sunday 24th November, 6 pm
Institut Français à Erbil
Contact and information
Lecture in English (no translation)