The Politics of Poetry on the Arabic Peninsula

Thursday, 19 July 2018: 08:30
Oral Presentation
Andreas KARSTEN, Youth Policy Labs, Germany
Sven EHMES, Youth Policy Labs, Germany
While responses to the Arab Spring differed across the Arabic Peninsula, the hereditary regimes of the region did their best to ensure that protest were stalled in the moment rather than become a movement. 7 years on, young people's impatience with the status quo and desire for — not necessarily revolutionary — change becomes palpable once more, in particular through music and poetry.

This contribution will present and explore anonymised examples of songs and poems of young people across the region, showcasing how criticism and activism are being expressed in music and poetry. The examples were collected offline at a mixture of underground and public poetry slams and concerts across the peninsula by the authors, who are based in the region for a series of independent youth surveys, and online on the regionally leading social media platforms, Instagram and Snapchat.