a - Introduction: "Living 2016" and the "In 2016" Project

Stephan Guth


This introduction presents the idea as well as the theoretical, methodological and ethical background of the In 2016 project, a research project that looks into the realities of everyday life and other post-revolutionary lifeworlds (Lebenswelten) in Egypt and Tunisia. Its aim is to provide a kind of ‘encyclopedia of 2016’ that enables users, in a snapshot portrait of one year, to ‘jump right into’ and move around (via crossreferences) in post-revolutionary Arab realities; a tool that allows readers to approximate the experience of ‘how it feels/felt’ to live in these countries in this period of transition and historic change that the Arab World is currently going through. Taking its inspiration from Hans Ulrich GUMBRECHT’s In 1926, an “essay on historical simultaneity,” the project focuses on two key fields of cultural production where salient issues and ‘the meaning of life’ are regularly discussed and from where reflections of bodily experiences, emotions and affects can be collected: fiction and social media.

The present dossier spécial emerged from a first, exploratory workshop connected to the In 2016 project. The dossier’s objective is twofold: while the introduction will give the reader an idea of background of the project in general, the contributions will mirror a first stage in the project group’s experience: the collection of an overwhelmingly huge amount of fresh relevant material, its ‘close reading’ or ‘thick description’, and the individual researchers’ first, preliminary attempts to find the “arrays”, “codes” and “collapsed codes” that seem to be typical of living the ‘2016 experience’.

Key words: Historiography of the ‘Arab Spring’, social media, fiction

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5617/jais.4748


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