Posts tagged Arab Revolution

Behind the headlines A revolution in Syrian art

Behind the headlines is a series of events at the Museum exploring the cultural context behind news stories from across the world, looking closely at objects from the Museum’s collection.

Before 2011, the Syrian art scene was limited by the number of galleries and spaces for showing work, and the government control of cultural institutions. Since the uprising, an outpouring of creative expression from artists across all levels of Syrian society has formed a response to the violence. This panel discussion, chaired by Malu Halasa, co-editor of Syria Speaks: Art and Culture from the Frontline, and including panellists Issam Kourbaj, Zaher Omareen, Khalil Younes and Venetia Porter, will consider the pre-revolution period through looking at British Museum objects, the change that revolution has bought to the country’s artists, and the new possibilities that lie ahead.

The British Museum
Friday 20 June
18.30–19.30 
BP Lecture Theatre

Syria Speaks
Art and Culture from the Frontline
Edited by Malu Halasa, Zaher Omareen and Nawara Mahfoud
In Syria, culture has become a critical line of defence against tyranny.
Syria Speaks is a celebration of a people determined to reclaim their dignity, freedom and self-expression. It showcases the work of over fifty artists and writers who are challenging the culture of violence in Syria. Their literature, poems and songs, cartoons, political posters and photographs document and interpret the momentous changes that have shifted the frame of reality so drastically in Syria.
Moving and inspiring, Syria Speaks is testament to the courage, creativity and imagination of the Syrian people.
(Cover image: Poster by Alshaab alsori aref tarekh showing a character by Mohamed Tayeb. Zaytoun, the Little Refugee, from the Yarmouk Palestinian camp in Damascus, is a political, artistic and educational project, which contests the monopoly of power to write history)
Published: June 2014

Syria Speaks

Art and Culture from the Frontline

Edited by Malu Halasa, Zaher Omareen and Nawara Mahfoud

In Syria, culture has become a critical line of defence against tyranny.

Syria Speaks is a celebration of a people determined to reclaim their dignity, freedom and self-expression. It showcases the work of over fifty artists and writers who are challenging the culture of violence in Syria. Their literature, poems and songs, cartoons, political posters and photographs document and interpret the momentous changes that have shifted the frame of reality so drastically in Syria.

Moving and inspiring, Syria Speaks is testament to the courage, creativity and imagination of the Syrian people.

(Cover image: Poster by Alshaab alsori aref tarekh showing a character by Mohamed Tayeb. Zaytoun, the Little Refugee, from the Yarmouk Palestinian camp in Damascus, is a political, artistic and educational project, which contests the monopoly of power to write history)

Published: June 2014

We Are Many 

On February 15 2003, millions and millions of people, in over 800 cities across all seven continents, marched against the impending invasion of Iraq. It was the largest mobilization of people in human history and yet it remains an untold, little-known story.

‘We Are Many’ tells the story of that single day and explores its meaning. At its heart is the drama of many millions of everyday people fighting to stop a war, set against a small number of people working to start one. The film follows the twists and turns of these opposing forces, both as the facts were known then, and what has come to light since the invasion in leaks, inquiries, and high-level hearings.

The film chronicles for the first time the rise of a new kind of movement, from those who built and participated in it, as well as those who opposed it. It is an untold chapter in the history of people power, by turns uplifting and chilling, which reveals the potential power of ordinary people as well as the dark underbelly of the war machine.

This powerful, riveting story of the greatest mass mobilization in history is also a devastating critique of the state of democracy today.

We Are Many will be more than a remarkable collective story of humanity – it will be a contribution given back to the movement against war. It will reunite, both physically through networking on the website, and in spirit through the film, the people who took part on 15 February 2003.

Together, the film and website will support and promote the ever growing public vigilance around the world against present and future wars.

'We Are Many' celebrated its World Premiere at Sheffield International Documentary Festival on 8 June.

CREATIVE DISSENT: ARTS OF THE ARAB WORLD UPRISINGS

This exhibit explores the visual arts and other expressive media of the recent Arab World Uprisings.

Images are often used as communicative devices to present politicized messages. During the recent Arab World uprisings, demonstrators created images to express opposition to incumbent governments and members of the ruling elite. Over and again, activists, protesters, artists, and other individuals adopted the expressive media—including videos, photographs, painted and digital images, as well as slogans, music, and even puppets—to create visualized and performed modes of dissent within public space, both in the streets and online.

Creative Dissent: Arts of the Arab World Uprisings will be on display at the Arab American National Museum, November 8, 2013 - February 9, 2014. Lower Level Gallery, free with Museum admission.

Syrian Civil War: Artists Displaced By Conflict Find Refuge (And Beauty) In Lebanese Artists’ Colony
ARA is a dynamic space for communication and creation. It is a collective community of eclectic forms of expression. We offer residency and commission artistic projects for young Syrian artists.
“With this war, Syria’s artists don’t have an emotional or physical place to work, so I offer them this,” said Raghad Mardini, a Syrian single mother of four and an accomplished civil engineer with a predilection for art. She renovated the stable in 2011 for this purpose, and runs the residency program for displaced and fleeing Syrian artists. So far she has hosted 24 artists, two at a time each month.
The Founder’s Vision
"The project arose out of my lifelong passion for a particular creative atmosphere I discovered years ago in the studios and ateliers of Damascus, an artistic eco-system which I lived and breathed and which produced so many of my favourite artists, many of them friends. The stables at Aley were a relic from the Civil War, which I found unloved like the walnut tree suffering sadly in the grounds.
As a civil engineer, I saw the opportunity to turn the stables into something beautiful and also symbolic: ruined and in trouble but still possessing an inner beauty it was impossible to mistake, and which the right amount of love and energy could revive into something productive and new. It’s a space of freedom and hope for every young Syrian artist.”
Raghad Mardini

Syrian Civil War: Artists Displaced By Conflict Find Refuge (And Beauty) In Lebanese Artists’ Colony

ARA is a dynamic space for communication and creation. It is a collective community of eclectic forms of expression. We offer residency and commission artistic projects for young Syrian artists.

“With this war, Syria’s artists don’t have an emotional or physical place to work, so I offer them this,” said Raghad Mardini, a Syrian single mother of four and an accomplished civil engineer with a predilection for art. She renovated the stable in 2011 for this purpose, and runs the residency program for displaced and fleeing Syrian artists. So far she has hosted 24 artists, two at a time each month.

The Founder’s Vision

"The project arose out of my lifelong passion for a particular creative atmosphere I discovered years ago in the studios and ateliers of Damascus, an artistic eco-system which I lived and breathed and which produced so many of my favourite artists, many of them friends. The stables at Aley were a relic from the Civil War, which I found unloved like the walnut tree suffering sadly in the grounds.

As a civil engineer, I saw the opportunity to turn the stables into something beautiful and also symbolic: ruined and in trouble but still possessing an inner beauty it was impossible to mistake, and which the right amount of love and energy could revive into something productive and new. It’s a space of freedom and hope for every young Syrian artist.”

Raghad Mardini

Curating Syria’s revolutionary art

The revolution established a space for ingenuity that has astounded us, the Syrians, before even making its mark on the rest of the world, and we wonder, where had all this talent in satire, art, and innovation been?

The outburst of the uprising against oppression and tyranny brought on a surge of these remarkable, latent energies, the spontaneous and the organized, in a way never before seen in all of Syria’s years marked by repression and injustice. History relays similar experiences. This project aims to archive all the intellectual and artistic expressions in the age of revolution; it is writing, recording, and collecting stories of the Syrian people, and those experiences through which they have regained meaning of their social, political and cultural lives.

(Image Credit of football pitch: Ramadan Kareem by Ammar Al-Beik)

What has the Arab Spring brought to science in countries that did not see a regime change? SciDev.Net investigates.
(Image Credit: Espen Rasmussen/Panos)

What has the Arab Spring brought to science in countries that did not see a regime change? SciDev.Net investigates.

(Image Credit: Espen Rasmussen/Panos)

Book Launch at SOAS: These 13 stories of young activists from the MENA region (Bahrain, Egypt, Libya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, Jordan, Yemen, Palestine - West bank & Gaza), reveal how young Arab women and men, who come from very diverse backgrounds, regions, continents, share the same passion for their countries, the same audacity of hope for a better tomorrow, the same dream of making their country proud of them. All of the writers who were committed to this project were deeply convinced that one should not ask what their country will do for them, but rather what could they offer their countries. In a world where barriers are constantly being erased, where virtual communication turns the world to a global village, what is this strange bond that ties this Arab youth to politics and public affairs?

Book Launch at SOAS: These 13 stories of young activists from the MENA region (Bahrain, Egypt, Libya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, Jordan, Yemen, Palestine - West bank & Gaza), reveal how young Arab women and men, who come from very diverse backgrounds, regions, continents, share the same passion for their countries, the same audacity of hope for a better tomorrow, the same dream of making their country proud of them. All of the writers who were committed to this project were deeply convinced that one should not ask what their country will do for them, but rather what could they offer their countries. In a world where barriers are constantly being erased, where virtual communication turns the world to a global village, what is this strange bond that ties this Arab youth to politics and public affairs?

In Place of War: Egypt’s artists after the Arab Spring

How did Egypt’s creative minds respond to the revolution. We ask six artists, and talk to the founder of In Place of War, a project that champions work born out of conflict. 

James Thompson first had the idea for what would become In Place of War when he was working in Jaffna, Sri Lanka, in 2000, during the civil war. Thompson comes from an academic and theatre background and was invited there by Unicef, which had received a request from Jaffna community workers for someone experienced in developing theatre programmes for young people.

For more info on In Place of War, see inplaceofwar.net. There will be a special event on 29 May at the Martin Harris Centre, University of Manchester, at which some of the featured artists will speak; get tickets at inplaceofwarstories.eventbrite.com

Film Festival: Celebrating Arab Women Filmmakers, 3-10 April 2013 
BFI Southbank, Barbican, ICA & Hackney Picturehouse

Film Festival: Celebrating Arab Women Filmmakers, 3-10 April 2013 

BFI Southbank, Barbican, ICA & Hackney Picturehouse

The Dawn of the Arab Uprisings End of an Old Order? 
Edited by: Bassam Haddad, Rosie Bsheer, Ziad Abu-Rish, Foreword by: Roger Owen
The Dawn of the Arab Uprisings sheds light on the historical background and initial impact of the mass uprisings which have shaken the Arab world since December 2010. The book brings together the best writers from the online journal Jadaliyya, which has established itself as an unparalleled source of information and critical analysis on the Middle East.
The authors, many of whom live in the countries affected, provide unique understanding and first-hand accounts of events that have received superficial and partial coverage in Western and Arab media alike. While the book focuses on those states that have been most affected by the uprisings it also covers the impact on Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Palestine, and Iraq.
The Dawn of the Arab Uprisings covers the full range of issues involved in these historic events, from political economy and the role of social media, to international politics, gender, labour and the impact on culture, making this the ideal one-stop introduction to the events for the novice and specialist alike.

The Dawn of the Arab Uprisings End of an Old Order?

Edited by: Bassam Haddad, Rosie Bsheer, Ziad Abu-Rish, Foreword by: Roger Owen

The Dawn of the Arab Uprisings sheds light on the historical background and initial impact of the mass uprisings which have shaken the Arab world since December 2010. The book brings together the best writers from the online journal Jadaliyya, which has established itself as an unparalleled source of information and critical analysis on the Middle East.

The authors, many of whom live in the countries affected, provide unique understanding and first-hand accounts of events that have received superficial and partial coverage in Western and Arab media alike. While the book focuses on those states that have been most affected by the uprisings it also covers the impact on Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Palestine, and Iraq.

The Dawn of the Arab Uprisings covers the full range of issues involved in these historic events, from political economy and the role of social media, to international politics, gender, labour and the impact on culture, making this the ideal one-stop introduction to the events for the novice and specialist alike.

Rawiya is a photography collective founded by female photographers from across the Middle East. Rawiya presents an insider’s view of a region in flux balancing its contradictions while reflecting on social and political issues and stereotypes.
As a collective, Rawiya’s photographers respect the human dignity of the stories they tell, pooling resources and vision to produce in-depth photo-essays and long-term projects. Rawiya, meaning ‘she who tells a story’, brings together the experiences and photographic styles of Myriam Abdelaziz, Tamara Abdul Hadi, Laura Boushnak, Tanya Habjouqa, Dalia Khamissy and Newsha Tavakolian.
Their work is currently being exhibited at the New Art Exchange until 20 April 2013.

Rawiya is a photography collective founded by female photographers from across the Middle East. Rawiya presents an insider’s view of a region in flux balancing its contradictions while reflecting on social and political issues and stereotypes.

As a collective, Rawiya’s photographers respect the human dignity of the stories they tell, pooling resources and vision to produce in-depth photo-essays and long-term projects. Rawiya, meaning ‘she who tells a story’, brings together the experiences and photographic styles of Myriam Abdelaziz, Tamara Abdul Hadi, Laura Boushnak, Tanya Habjouqa, Dalia Khamissy and Newsha Tavakolian.

Their work is currently being exhibited at the New Art Exchange until 20 April 2013.

A groundbreaking document published by the Open Society Foundation, on Tuesday shows that 54 countries, a quarter of the world’s nations, cooperated with the CIA’s extraordinary rendition programme.
(Image Credit: Huffington Post)

A groundbreaking document published by the Open Society Foundation, on Tuesday shows that 54 countries, a quarter of the world’s nations, cooperated with the CIA’s extraordinary rendition programme.

(Image Credit: Huffington Post)

War and Other (Impossible) Possibilities Thoughts on Arab History and Contemporary Art
Gregory Buchakjian
Foreword by Saleh Barakat

The Arab world is perhaps one of the toughest regions of the world. Alongside economic rigor and the establishment of glazed authoritarian regimes that, until the 2010-2011 revolts, seemed would last forever, the consistent element of war can help explain what it is that makes Algiers or Aden harder to live in than other cities of the postcolonial third world. Since 1945, the Arab world has been the stage for an impressive number of wars and invasions, involving local interests and external powers.

War and Other (Impossible) Possibilities is a reflection on the paths of history and its implication over practices and discourses of contemporary Arab artists. The publication attempts to be an eye opener to understand the changes in Arab societies from within, through a historical analysis of the region, based on striking artworks.

(Images: Munir Fatmi’s “Save Manhattan 01, 2004”)

The uprising of women in the Arab world
The Uprising of Women in the Arab World’s campaign was created in October 2011 by a group of activists from various Arab countries. It was an urgent reaction to the social and political developments in the region because we didn’t want the Arab Spring to be aborted. From Tunis to Egypt to Libya to Syria to Yemen to Bahrain…, the Arab revolts are led in the name of dignity, justice and freedom, but we cannot reach for those values if women are being ignored or absented from the main scenery.
(Uprising of Women Logo شعار انتفاضة المرأة - The official logo of the Uprising of Women in the Arab World Design by: Hassan Al Teibi dedicated from him to the Uprising)

The uprising of women in the Arab world

The Uprising of Women in the Arab World’s campaign was created in October 2011 by a group of activists from various Arab countries. It was an urgent reaction to the social and political developments in the region because we didn’t want the Arab Spring to be aborted. From Tunis to Egypt to Libya to Syria to Yemen to Bahrain…, the Arab revolts are led in the name of dignity, justice and freedom, but we cannot reach for those values if women are being ignored or absented from the main scenery.

(Uprising of Women Logo شعار انتفاضة المرأة - The official logo of the Uprising of Women in the Arab World Design by: Hassan Al Teibi dedicated from him to the Uprising)