"Beirut's Banksy" is a terrible label. The murals and portraits of Lebanese artist Yazan Halwani are not even particularly Bansky like, unless Banksy unironically celebrates celebrities? Halwani's images are generally remediations of pan-Arab/nationalist symbols, the immediately recognisable and nostalgia-enducing images of "Arab poets, musicians and actors, encircled by intricate Arabic calligraphy." People from the golden age of music … Continue reading On El Seed’s Calligraffiti and “Beirut’s Banksy”
Tawfik Hakim’s Sparrow From the East, published in 1938, is an early example of a narratives in which Arab characters visit Europe. In the first chapter, when Andre discovers Muhsin, the sensitive art-loving hero, eating dates in the streets of Paris, he calls him “sparrow from the East,” and the East/West divide is established. Later … Continue reading Tawfiq Hakim’s Sparrow from the East
In a NYT review of French-Algerian choreographer Rachid Ouramdane's Ordinary Witnesses, the reviewer asked: What has dance got to do with genocide or torture? In Ordinary Witnesses, which incorporates innovative uses of multimedia and video testimonies and moves from interviews with survivors of genocide and torture to dance and contortionist movements, there is an exploration of what … Continue reading What’s Dance Got to Do With Genocide?