Contra-diction: speech against itself

Lawrence Abu Hamdan

With Lawrence Abu Hamadan

Contra-diction: speech against itself is a lecture-performance developed for meeting points 7 in Beirut that looks at the minor speech acts of the Druze religious community spread across Syria, Lebanon, Israel/Palestine, and Jordan. Across the region, being Druze is synonymous with secrecy, and they are stereotyped for their cross-border liminality, as well as the malleability of their political positions. This project comes in the wake of the stories emerging from Syria around 18 Druze villages that suddenly converted to Wahabi Islam. It looks at the many ways in which the doctrine of the religious Druze minority has a specific interest in the voice; the speech of its members is highly conditioned through an ethical-religious practice called taqiyya. By looking at the Druze theology and philosophy through the micro-politics of phonemes, this work attempts to show how minority thinking can allow us to re-read fundamental issues in regards to silence, free speech, and the territoriality of language.