Studio Meritis MaKOM

Foto: Ilya Rabinovich

Studio Meritis MaKOM (Joseph Semah and Linda Bouws) is aware of the urgent need to add new perspectives to the dominant Western traditional way of thinking in our globalizing world.
The Western world has been predominately manifested by iconic works of art, literature, film, theatre, philosophy, often related to traditional Christianity.
But culture is not static, it is always changing: today’s culture is tomorrow’s heritage.

Seen from this perspective, it is necessary to take a critical look at how Western culture and art are presented and why. It is also important to recognize and accept sources and traditions of other cultures.
We will be searching for new structures and a new conceptual vision which will better reflect the reality of our pluralistic society. This will require thinking out of the box, whereby the artist’s scrutiny on the creative processes in the West will play an important role.

Studio Meritis MaKOM is committed to investigate and encourage different views on the current artistic research into Western culture. New research into the existing way of thinking will lead to new and maybe forgotten information, representations and interpretations. We will develop these, analyse them and provide them with a podium.
Our aim is to stimulate a collective commitment and to make a contribution to the debate on Western art and culture by also including non-Western art and culture.

Studio Meritis MaKOM reflects and provides context for art and culture.

Studio Meritis MaKOM focuses on
– Current global developments and discussions on Western art
– Contextualization of Western art
– The significance, relevance and representation of Western art, culture and politics in a complex world of interculturalism.

© Metropool Foundation International Art Projects

Mob: +31(0) 620132195

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Kardinaal Willebrandslezing 2018 ~ 5 april 2018 in Bergkerk te Amersfoort

Prof.dr. Emile Schrijver

Op 5 april 2018 nodigen de Tilburg University/Katholieke Theologie en de Katholieke Raad van het Jodendom de Algemeen directeur van het Joods Cultureel Kwartier en hoogleraar van de geschiedenis van het Joodse boek aan de UvA, Prof. dr. Emile Schrijver, uit om de jaarlijkse Kardinaal Willebrandslezing te geven met de titel “Identiteit en tradities onder druk”. De coreferenten Prof.dr. Dineke Houtman, hoogleraar Judaica aan de Protestantse Theologische Universiteit en Dr. Bill Banning, docent godsdienst en levensbeschouwing op het d’Oultremontcollege te Drunen, gaan in op de vraag wat christenen van de joodse benadering kunnen leren. Een benadering die allereerst gaat om het doen, het leven volgens de Torah in plaats van de christelijke aanpak van puur doorgeven van het geloof.

Emile Schrijver benadrukt in zijn lezing het grote belang dat het jodendom hecht aan het doorgeven van de joodse leer van generatie op generatie (le dor wa-dor) en illustreert dat met verschillende citaten en voorbeelden uit de geschiedenis, zoals het volgende citaat uit de Misjna (de eerste neerslag van de mondelinge leer uit de tweede eeuw na de jaartelling):
“Mozes ontving de Torah van Sinaï, en gaf haar door aan Jozua; Jozua gaf haar weer door aan de ouden, de ouden aan de profeten; en de profeten leverden haar over aan de mannen van de grote vergadering. Zij hadden drie spreuken: wees voorzichtig met oordelen, vorm veel leerlingen en maak een omheining om de Torah.”

Het einde van de 9de of aan het begin 10de eeuw markeren een nieuwe vorm van overdracht, de codex, naar het gebonden boek, dat het mogelijk maakt om grote teksten door te geven, allereerst voor de overdracht van het Heilige Schrift. Schrijver gaat vervolgens in op de traditionele vorm van een gedrukte bladzijde van de Talmoed, die zich kenmerkt door een centrale tekst die is omgeven door commentaarteksten. ”De oorsprong ligt in de cultuur van discussiëren, bevragen en problematiseren die eigen is aan de joodse cultuur.”

In de loop van de 13e eeuw verschijnen steeds meer handschriften met gecentreerde hoofdteksten en flarden commentaar daar omheen geschreven. Dit wordt de traditie van het ‘open boek’ genoemd, een levende en bewegende traditie. Teksten zijn niet definitief, anderen mogen er nieuw licht op laten schijnen. Deze toevoegingen worden vaak opgenomen in nieuwe versies van de tekst en genieten meestal dezelfde autoriteit als de brontekst. Read more

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The Middle East Is Heating Up ~ Again: An Interview With Richard Falk

Prof.em. Richard Falk

The Middle East is heating up again, in part due to President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The Trump administration has also incited upset with its unconditional support for Israel’s aggressive policies, which violate basic principles of international law and threaten the region with the eruption of military confrontations. For an assessment of the latest developments in the Middle East, C.J. Polychroniou spoke to Richard Falk, a professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University, former UN special rapporteur for Palestinian human rights and author of scores of books and hundreds of academic articles on international relations and international law.

C.J. Polychroniou: Richard, let’s start with Donald Trump’s decision to officially recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and to move the US embassy there by May of this year. First, is this legal from the standpoint of international law, and second, what are likely to be the long-term effects of the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital on the region as a whole?

Richard Falk: There is no question that Trump’s Jerusalem policy relating to recognition and the move of the American embassy is provocative and disruptive, underscoring the abandonment by Washington of even the pretense of being a trustworthy intermediary that can be relied upon by both sides to work for a sustainable peace between the two peoples. Some critics of the initiative are saying that the US is free to situate its embassy in Jerusalem, but it isn’t Israel, as the status of the city is undetermined and East Jerusalem, where the “Old City” is located, is considered to be an “occupied territory” in international humanitarian law.

Recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is a clear violation of international humanitarian law, which rests on the central proposition that an occupied territory should not be altered in any way that changes its status and character without the consent of the occupied society. It also is a unilateral rejection of a near universal consensus, endorsed by the United Nations, that the future of Jerusalem should be settled by negotiations between the parties as a part of a broader peacemaking process. Israel had already violated both international law and this international consensus by annexing an enlarged Jerusalem, and declared that the whole city, within expanded boundaries, would be the “undivided, eternal capital” of Israel. It is notable that the UN General Assembly on December 21, 2017, approved by an overwhelming majority of 128-8 (35 abstentions) a strong condemnation of the US move on Jerusalem, with [the US’s] closest allies joining in this vote of censure.

It is difficult to predict the long-term consequences of this diplomatic rupture. It depends, above all, on whether the US government manages to restore its claim to act as a conflict-resolving intermediary. The Trump administration continues to insist that it is working on a peace plan that will require painful compromises by both Palestine and Israel. Of course, given the unconditional alignment of Washington with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Israel, and the orientation of those entrusted with drafting the plan, it is highly unlikely that even President Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority will be inclined to enter a diplomatic process that is virtually certain to be weighted so heavily in favor of Israel. Yet as many have come to appreciate, nothing is harder to predict than the future of Middle Eastern politics. At the same time, Jerusalem has an abiding significance for both Islam and Christianity that makes it almost certain for the indefinite future that there will be formidable regional and international resistance to subsuming Jerusalem under Israeli sovereign control.

Israel appears bent on restricting Iran’s rising influence as a regional power in the Middle East. How far do you think the US can go in assisting Israel to contain Tehran’s strategy for empowering Shias?

Israel and Saudi Arabia are both, for different reasons, determined to confront Iran, and quite possibly, initiate a military encounter with widespread ramifications for the entire region, if not the world. A quick glance at the Syrian conflict suggests how complex and dangerous is this effort to destabilize the Iranian governing process, with the dual objectives of destabilizing the governing process mixed with the more ambitious goal of causing civil strife of sufficient magnitude as to produce a civil war, and ideally, regime change.

The Israeli adherence to this recklessness seems partly motivated by its overall security policy of seeking to weaken any country in the region that is hostile to its presence and has the potential military capability to threaten Israeli security in a serious manner. Israel has been so far successful in neutralizing each of its credible adversaries in the region (Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria) with the exception of Iran. In this sense, Iran stands out as the last large unfinished item on Israel’s geopolitical agenda. The question of Israel’s real intentions [is] hard to pin down, as the alleged Iranian threat is also frequently manipulated by Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders to mobilize domestic support for sticking with an aggressive foreign policy. In this latter context, Israeli security specialists express an appreciation of the risks of an actual military confrontation with Iran. Read more

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