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On Super-diversity by Tariq Ramadan

Reflections 03

This is a video recording of the book launch held at Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art (Rotterdam, the Netherlands) on the 30th of January, 2012. The event included introductions by Director of Witte de With Defne Ayas, former Head of Publications Monika Szewczyk (2008 – February 2012), and a discussion between Tariq Ramadan, Willem Schinkel and respondent Wendelien van Oldenborgh. The book launch was preceded by a projection of Van Oldenborgh’s slide work Supposing I love you. And you also love me. (2011), featuring Tariq Ramadan.



About the book:


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.


About the author:


Prof. Ramadan has a unique history of engagement in the politics of diversity, as Chair of Identity and Citizenship at Erasmus University in Rotterdam and as a special advisor on integration to the city council, until his controversial dismissal from both posts in August of 2009. Among his numerous academic and advisory roles, he is also Professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies at Oxford University and President of the European Muslim Network, a think-tank in Brussels. Recent publications include L’islam et le réveil arabe (Presses du Châtelet, 2011), The Quest for Meaning, Developing a Philosophy of Pluralism (Allen Lane, 2010), What I Believe (Oxford University Press, 2009), Radical Reform: Islamic Ethics and Liberation (Oxford University Press, 2009), and Islam, the West and the Challenges of Modernity (Islamic Foundation, 2009).




Series editors: Nicolaus Schafhausen, Caroline Schneider, Monika Szewczyk

Author: Tariq Ramadan

Translation into the Dutch: Walter van der Star

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

Printed by: fgb. Freiburger graphische betriebe ISBN 978-1-934105-77-1




The publication is available via the following distributors: Vice Versa Vertrieb (Europe except BE, CH, FR, LU, UK); Les Presses du Réel (FR, BE, LU, CH); Art Data (UK); RAM Publications & Distributions (USA).


It is also available for purchase via Witte de With’s online shop: