03/12/2015 Studium Generale lecture 'We Must Value Our Freedom' - Petra Stienen

‘We must value our freedom’ is the message Petra Stienen has carried with her since her experiences in the Middle East.

'We Must Value Our Freedom'

In a century that began in fear and confusion, the Arab World and its people are often portrayed in a demeaning way by Western media. Stienen opposes this negative image. By focusing on the individuals and their stories, her voice strikes a chord against the Western terms of objectification used to depict these issues.

Stienen speaks, writes and fights for human rights in the Arab World, and the challenge of cultural integration faced in the Netherlands today. Placing herself in the center of the struggle, Stienen manages to present a local perspective on events that stretch far beyond the communities in which they are concentrated. Inspired by her hometown, the multicultural neighborhood of Donderberg, Roermond, she returns to present the harmony amongst its international inhabitants. Promoting the idea of a ‘wereldwijk’, an international neighborhood, Terug naar Donderberg is a testimony to man’s ability to get along and thrive in coexistence.

Petra Stienen worked from 1995 - 2004 as a diplomat for the Dutch embassies in Egypt and Syria. During the Arab Spring in 2011 she appeared regularly as a commentator for Dutch news TV and radio programs. Stienen specializes in human rights and the position of women. She published two books, Dreaming of an Arab Spring, published in 2008, and Other Arab Voices, published in 2012. She regularly writes for the feminist magazine Aside, NRC Handelsblad, and de Volkskrant amongst others.

Poster for the KABK Studium Generale lecture 'We Must Value Our Freedom' by Petra Stienen
Studium Generale lecture series 'We Are The Narcissistic Generation' poster design by Gilles de Brock



3 december 2015 16.00 - 17:30


KABK Auditorium