Ophélie Mercier | Doktorandin Stipendiatin

Dynamics and Experiences of Globalisation
Centre Marc Bloch, Friedrichstraße 191, D-10117 Berlin
Email: Ophelie.Mercier  ( at )  ugent.be Tel: +49(0) 30 / 20 93 70700

Disciplines : Anthropology |

Biography

Ophélie Mercier is a third year PhD Student in the Department of Languages and Cultures at Ghent University. She graduated from Sciences Po Rennes and obtained a master in Conflict, Violence and Development at SOAS. Her first research explored theatre as a form of resistance in Palestine, doing ethnographic fieldwork with the Freedom Theatre. She worked in Cairo from 2013-16 as a street clown performer and social theatre practitioner with the collective Outa Hamra. Back in France, she coordinated for four years the work of the organisation Caravan, an international network for youth and social circus. In her PhD, she is exploring the life trajectories of Egyptian artists in exile in Europe, focusing on the reconfigurations of their artistic practices and looking at the transnational dynamics of the production and distribution of their art works.

Researchtopic

The new political situation after 2013 has been a serious backlash for many Egyptian artists, especially those who supported the 2011 uprising or have addressed the event through their artistic work. This project aims to study the paths of artists who left Egypt after 2013 for Europe. It will look in particular at the political, economic and social positions held by Egyptian artists prior to their departure to understand which resources they could mobilise in their migration trajectories and how their situation evolved through their resettlement in Europe.

 

Through this project, the research examines the following three interrelated questions:

 

1)             How do past experiences influence creation processes in exile? The personal trajectories of Egyptian artists are studied in light of the evolution of their artistic productions.

 

2)             What are the transnational dynamics bringing together artists from different Arab countries and beyond in Europe? The project explores the networks and events in which Egyptian artists participate to understand their socialisation abroad.

 

3)             How do Egyptian artists in exile (dis)engage with activities related to Egypt? This third question examines the politicisation of artistic production, and the extent to which political affects relate with interpersonal relations.

 

This project is at the intersection between the disciplines of anthropology, the sociology of art, migration studies and cultural studies. It is based on in-depth autobiographical interviews and the ethnographic observation of the Egyptian cultural scenes in Berlin and Paris

 

Title of thesis

Egyptian Artists in Europe: Exile, Resettlement and the Reconfiguration of Cultural Practices (working title)

Institution of thesis

Ghent University

Supervisor

Prof. Aymon Kreil

Projects

The new political situation after 2013 has been a serious backlash for many Egyptian artists, especially those who supported the 2011 uprising or have addressed the event through their artistic work. This project aims to study the paths of artists who left Egypt after 2013 for Europe. It will look in particular at the political, economic and social positions held by Egyptian artists prior to their departure to understand which resources they could mobilise in their migration trajectories and how their situation evolved through their resettlement in Europe.

Through this project, the research examines the following three interrelated questions:

1)             How do past experiences influence creation processes in exile? The personal trajectories of Egyptian artists are studied in light of the evolution of their artistic productions.

2)             What are the transnational dynamics bringing together artists from different Arab countries and beyond in Europe? The project explores the networks and events in which Egyptian artists participate to understand their socialisation abroad.

3)             How do Egyptian artists in exile (dis)engage with activities related to Egypt? This third question examines the politicisation of artistic production, and the extent to which political affects relate with interpersonal relations.

This project is at the intersection between the disciplines of anthropology, the sociology of art, migration studies and cultural studies. It is based on in-depth autobiographical interviews and the ethnographic observation of the Egyptian cultural scenes in Berlin and Paris

Publications

 Mercier, Ophélie. "Expériences théâtrales à Alexandrie auprès des populations locale et réfugiée : un éveilleur de conscience politique ?" EGYPTE/MONDE ARABE, vol.15, 2017, pp.125-46, doi: 10.4000/ema.3672