Multiculturalism, Democracy and Turkification in Netflix’s The Club

James Ryan 05.24.2022

The Club (Kulüp), produced by Netflix, is set in the mid-1950s among the cast, crew and management of a trendy nightclub in the Beyoğlu district of Istanbul. In addition to the use of Ladino, the language of Turkey’s Jewish population, the show uniquely represents Istanbul’s minority populations, their contributions to cultural life and their experiences of persecution. James Ryan elucidates these unusual characteristics that distinguish the show from a typical Turkish soap opera and provides fascinating context to its real-life historical elements.

Genocide, Historical Amnesia and Italian Settler Colonialism in Libya—An Interview with Ali Abdullatif Ahmida

In the late 1920s, the Italian fascist regime implemented a campaign of ethnic cleansing in eastern Libya to create more land for Italian settlers and quell armed resistance to colonization. Ali Abdullatif Ahmida’s new book, Genocide in Libya: Shar, a Hidden Colonial History, examines this forgotten case of settler-colonial violence. Jacob Mundy talks to Ahmida about the genocide, the kind of research methods he had to develop to uncover this history and its present-day relevance.

How the Fishing Industry Strengthened Morocco’s Occupation of Western Sahara

The United Nations considers Western Sahara to be the last African colony. Until 1975 it was a non-self-governing territory legally recognized as being administered by the European colonial power of Spain. Instead of achieving independence when Spain withdrew, Western Sahara and its offshore waters were seized by Morocco in what many observers view as a settler-colonial occupation.

The Question of Palestinian Statehood and the Future of Decolonization

Is statehood the desired end goal of decolonization struggles or is it instead a useful tool along the way to achieving national liberation? The answer to this question has been at the heart of many national liberation movements since the twentieth century. Most struggles for decolonization have pursued the creation of a sovereign independent nation state as a right that is enshrined in international law with the 1960 United Nations General Assembly Resolution 1514, which defined colonialism as a crime and specified that “all people have an inalienable right to complete freedom, the exercise of their sovereignty and the integrity of their national territory.” This resolution granted colonized people the internationally recognized right to political independence and self-determination.

Indigenous Wine and Settler Colonialism in Israel and Palestine

In 2008 the first Palestinian wine made from indigenous grapes was released, introducing a discourse of primordial place-based authenticity into the local wine field. Six years later, Israeli wineries started marketing a line of indigenous wines. Since then, a growing number of Palestinian and Israeli winemakers and scientists have been using the research, production and marketing of indigenous wines to bolster their historical claims to the land. These producers have emerged in a global era in which terroir—defined as an idiosyncratic combination of soil, climate, culture and history that gives food its distinct taste—shapes economic and cultural value. Against the dominance of international grape varieties, the indigenous turn in the wine world is mobilizing genetics, enology and ancient texts to rewrite the Israeli and Palestinian landscapes.

France, a Settler Postcolony?

With the French presidential election currently underway, Olivia C. Harrison’s timely intervention explains the central role that the history and memory of French Algeria continue to play in the country’s politics, culture and society. She shows how the perverse calls by nativist and right-wing groups for the “decolonization of France” and the repatriation of immigrants have been shaped by the experience of settler colonialism and the Algerian War of Independence, with repercussions that go beyond France.

Settler Colonialism in the Middle East and North Africa: A Protracted History

Settler colonial studies developed as a distinct field of research to address the particular circumstances of settler societies. Since its advent in the 1990s, this field has only marginally considered the Middle East and North Africa, focusing instead on the Anglophone settler societies of North America and Australasia. And yet, this neglect is unjustified. Settler colonialism targeted countries throughout the Middle East and North Africa, and these endeavors were crucial to developing a transnational network of settler-colonial ideas and practices.

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