The text »Mourning and Melancholia« by Sigmund Freud was written in 1915 and focuses on two fundamental psychological mechanisms of dealing with painful losses. The text is published in Arabic here for the first time. As a part of a project by Olaf Nicolai the translation is made available as a self-made publication free to take at several places in Ramallah and the surrounding area. In addition, an audio version in the local dialect Amey’he
will be produced which will be broadcast via a radio station. The work was conceived against the background of the very marginal circulation of Freud’s writings in Arabic and the ongoing discussion about the relevance of psychoanalysis in the Arabic world, but equally implies questions regarding the function of translation in the context of a politics of language where the distinction between Literary Arabic and the local vernacular is virulent. Above all, however, the work aims at the question ofthe possibility of mutual points of reference which can be unclosed by spaces beyond antagonistic positions.
The project is realised in the context of the 3rd Riwaq Biennial (2009) in co-production with the Al-Ma’mal Foundation and the »Jerusalem Show«. It is supported by the Goethe-Institut Ramallah and was produced in collaboration with Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary.
Translation: Mohammad Abu-Zaid
Scientific consultant: Gehad Mazarweh