Since IETM’s last visit to Beirut in 2012 Lebanon became the host country of 1.6 million (more) refugees and Beirut became one of the “twelve art cities of the future”. IETM revisited Beirut, between 6 and 9 October 2016. With the main focus on Freedom of Expression, representatives of 11 countries in the MENA region, from Lebanaon, Europe and beyond, thrashed out such crucial topics as mobility, cultural policies, funding, gender equality in the cultural sector, decentralization of culture and more.
Multifaceted discussions, roundtables, encounters, visits and performances revealed Beirut as well as the rest of the Arab region, as places where artists and cultural operators are reclaiming public space, defying mobility restrictions and persistently making art as a form of resistance.
The programme was backed by an International Campaign for Freedom of Expression, launched by IETM, with the aim of endorsing on-going reforms of censorship laws in Lebanon and similar campaigns in the South-Mediterranean region.
Image in banner: © Jens Bjerregaard