Collecting the Archives of Past and Present Revolutions. The Project DREAM
A seminar with Dr. Leyla Dakhli.
The project DREAM is investigating revolutions and revolutionary dreams in the context of the Arab Mediterranean area after independence (1950’s until today). One of the big challenges in writing these histories of “ordinary revolutionaries” is to access documentation and archives. In our work, we try to reflect on the status of the archives, may they be “official” archives of the state or independent archiving or else private documentation made accessible to us by some individuals. Two specific aspects will be dealt of in this presentation: the opening (even sometimes in a very ephemeral way) of once inaccessible or invisible state archives after 2011, and the multiplication of private archiving initiatives, documenting in particular recent revolts and revolutions, but also older memories. Does this private space complement or contradict the archive of power? What power regime does it build?
Leyla DAKHLI is a full-time historian in the French Center for National Research (CNRS), presently settled in the Marc Bloch Center in Berlin. Her work deals with the study of Arab intellectuals and social history of the South Mediterranean region, with a particular focus on the history of women and the question of exiled intellectuals and activists. She is the Principal Investigator of the ERC-founded program DREAM (Drafting and Enacting the revolution in the Arab Mediterranean). Her last publications include L’Esprit de la révolte. Archives et actualité des révolutions arabes, Éditions du Seuil, oct. 2020.
The seminar is part of the online festival Right to the City arranged by the organization Masahat.