Based on the experiences and incidents she collected during her field studies in Syria, anthropologist Nancy Lindisfarne wrote Dancing in Damascus, a collection of short stories, in the late 1980s.
[This review first appeared in German here in the Austrian socialist magazine Linkswende.]
Nancy Lindisfarne actually wanted to use the visit to a fellow student in the Syrian capital Damascus as an introduction to studies on the working class there. By chance, she got caught in the middle of the marriage policy of a wavering middle class, which fluctuated between tradition and “modernization” according to the Western model. In nine short stories, she describes the everyday life of a society under dictatorship, tells of the search for identity, gender roles, and the struggles for a self-determined life.Continue reading