06 October 2016 to 09 October 2016
06 October 2016 to 09 October 2016

Decolonising the arts



It is no surprise that the discussion about the colonialism of yesterday and the neo-colonialism of today strongly comes to surface when discussing the arts in the Arab region. Whether artists and professionals struggle against or play along, colonialism and post-colonialism are undoubtedly influencing artistic production and dissemination. The imported or the indigenous? The foreign or the local language? The exotic or the authentic? Which imbalances of power are not to be disregarded when collaborating? Can differences become meeting grounds instead of barriers and contribute to building a common discourse?

Jisr El Wati
7 October, 2016 - 10:00 to 11:30

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image of Jumana Al-yasiri

This session will address local and global representations of historical violence, narratives and counternarratives, identity(ies), language(s), memory, testimony, geopolitics and geo-aesthetics, policies of culture, imbalances of power, catastrophism, and neo-Orientalism…
The idea isn’t to discuss the post-colonial realities of the region - as what happened right after the end of material and physical colonialism; but rather “postcolonialism”, as what seems to be a never-ending socio-cultural predominance of a specific discourse written by/for global powers and addressing the expectations of specific audiences (or not?).
Join us for this open discussion on how these stories are told and by whom? The role of the artist in the transcription of History? The one that he/she witnessed, but also the one he/she heard about. And the place of Arab arts in the global history of the arts, especially in our current times, mainly described as ‘’dark’’, ‘’medieval’’, not to say ‘’apocalyptical’’. Syrian-Lebanese artist and poet, Etel Adnan, says: ‘’Our battle is cultural’’. Our battle against global powers, but also within our own societies.
How can we as artists and arts practitioners contribute to building a new ‘’Tomorrow’’ we're all longing for? A “Tomorrow”, hopefully free of all sorts of global and local oppressions, as naive as this might sound.

Posted 3 years 5 months ago