Islam and the Performing Arts in Europe: from Cultural Heritage to Cultural Citizenship.
07 / 2008 - 07 / 2012
This project is part of the project Islam and the Performing Arts in the Middle East and Europe, which constitutes the NWO program Cultural Dynamics . My research is based on new developments in Islam where religion and the performing arts are significantly merged. In an atmosphere of continuing cultural contestations about what is religiously allowed and belongs to the Islamic canon, and what should be banned, various Muslims increasingly produce or consume creative combinations of art and religion. The past decades such practices occur especially in the Middle East, but increasingly in the West as well. Here, debates among Muslim minorities on cultural and Islamic authenticity revolve not only around cultural heritage but essentially also around feelings of (national) belonging and loyalty. The debates reflect the comeback of the religious in the public cultural domain and the multiplicity of discourses on integration in society. Which significance will these artistic religious practices and discourses have on the development of Islam, on the identification processes of various Muslims, and on meanings of citizenship and policy making in Europe, especially in the Netherlands? I will compare trends in France or the United Kingdom with trends in the Netherlands, like the bloom of nasheed groups, religious popmusic, Muslim standup comedy, Islamic theatre and Muslim rap.