Politics – how does it feel?

By observing all five senses, researchers hope to find another angle to understanding politics in North Africa. NAI researcher Maria Malmström and Deborah Kapchan from New York University are bringing together several experts from North Africa for a conference in New York, 3 – 4 October.

– Emotions and the energy they generate can be measured. Sound is a vibration that transforms territory and what purportedly “belongs” there.  What can be gained by taking sound seriously? The conference aims at giving us new knowledge of these matters, says Deborah Kapchan.

Maria Malmström has conducted research in Egypt for 11 years and was in Cairo when President Morsi was ousted last July. By focusing her research on the human body, the senses and public affect, she seeks to understand people’s sense of belonging and desire for comfort in times of political chaos.

– People in Egypt have gone from euphoria to pitch-black pessimism in a short time. I am investigating how the body and senses grasp such quick changes, Maria Malmström says.

Listen to interview with Deborah Kapchan in Swedish Radio.

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