Gypsies in Contemporary Egypt: on the Periphery of Society

Datum: 8 februari 2018

Locatie: University of Antwerp, Stadscampus, Room E 207 - Grote Kauwenberg 2 - 2000 Antwerp (route: UAntwerpen, Stadscampus)

Tijdstip: 12.30 - 14 uur

Organisatie / co-organisatie: CeMIS

Korte beschrijving: A presentation by Alexandra Parrs, research associate, CeMIS, University of Antwerp and lecturer at the American University in Brussels.

This seminar will be presented in English.

Little is known about Egypt's Gypsies, called Dom by scholars, but often referred to by Egyptians as Ghagar. Moreover, most Egyptians are oblivious to the fact that there are today large numbers of Gypsies dispersed from the outskirts of villages in Upper Egypt to impoverished neighborhoods in Cairo. 

Sociologist Alexandra Parrs draws on two years of fieldwork to explore how Dom identities are constructed, negotiated, and contested in the specifically Egyptian national context. With an eye to the pitfalls and evolution of scholarly work on the vastly more studied European Roma, she traces the scattered representations of Egyptian Dom, from accounts of them by nineteenth-century European Orientalists to their portrayal in Egyptian cinema as belly dancers in the 1950s and beggars and thieves more recently. She explores the boundaries-religious, cultural, racial, linguistic-between Dom and non-Dom Egyptians and examines the ways in which the Dom position themselves within the limitations of media discourses about them and in turn differentiate themselves from the dominant population. This interplay of attitudes sheds light on the values and markers of belonging of the majority population and the paradigms of nation-state formation at the governmental level. 

Inkomprijs: free of charge

Inschrijven: Registration is possible until 5 February 2018 by e-mail ( Sandwiches (including vegetarian) and drinks will be provided.

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