Reflections 02: On Super-Diversity

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One of the greatest challenges for art and culture, sounded by intellectuals and also by funding bodies, is to represent diversity. But what precisely does this term mean and why does it so often placate rather than produce what it names? Prof. Steven Vertovec, Director of the Max-Planck-Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity (Göttingen, Germany) puts forward the notion of “super-diversity,” noting “the need to re-evaluate conceptions and policy measures surrounding diversity by way of moving beyond an ethno-focal understanding and adopting a multidimensional approach.”

Developing this idea further, while aiming to question and complicate the focus on immigration in the current debate, the prolific and provocative scholar and activist Tariq Ramadan weighs in on the subject. In the resulting essay, translated into Dutch and Arabic, Prof. Ramadan sets out an argument that foregrounds universalism as a necessary, if de-valued, horizon and offers a critique of the uses and limits of dialogue and discourse within the day to day practice of super-diversity.

In these compact book the text appears in three languages—in English, Dutch and Arabic. The book is designed by Kummer & Herrman, Utrecht.

 

COLOPHON

Translation into the Arabic

Salam Shughry, Sahar Mandour

English copyediting
Amira Gad, Monika Szewczyk, Leah Whitman-Salkin

Dutch copyediting
Solange de Boer

Arabic copyediting
Amira Gad, Sahar Mandour, Najla Reaidy

Production
Amira Gad, Monika Szewczyk

Design
Kummer & Herrman, Utrecht

Printer
fgb. freiburger graphische betriebe

ISBN
978-1-934105-77-1

Publisher
Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art Rotterdam, The Netherlands

All rights © 2011 Tariq Ramadan, Sternberg Press and Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art.