World Picks from the Editors: Feb 9 — Feb 22

9 February, 2024
Reading Time :6 minutes
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In The Eyes Of Our Present, We Hear Palestine, Al Dhaid, Sharjah, UAE

Ongoing — 14 April more info

In the eyes of our present, we hear Palestine foregrounds the unyielding creativity of artists who have dedicated their practice to informing, advocating and educating about the history of the occupation, the current political situation and issues of human rights in Palestine. This special exhibition, presented in consideration of the ongoing tragedy in Gaza, is part of the Foundation’s continuous support for Palestine and its people and testifies to the decades-long struggle for homeland and sovereignty in Palestine. While bearing witness to forced displacement and devastating loss, the works also celebrate the rich identity and heritage of Palestine, invoking a spirit of solidarity.

More than 60 artworks featured in the exhibition, all part of the Sharjah Art Foundation Collection, are by artists from Palestine and its neighbouring countries. Together, these paintings, sculptures, installations and videos, spanning from the 1950s till the present, offer a glimpse into the challenges and hopes of the Palestinian community.

Participating artists include Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme, Adel Abidin, Ayreen Anastas and Rene Gabri, Simone Fattal, Tarek Al Ghoussein, Shadi Habib Allah, Hazem Harb, Mona Hatoum, Emily Jacir, Najat Makki, Jumana Manna and Sille Storihle, Rashid Masharawi, Khalil Rabah, Mario Rizzi, Raeda Saadeh, Mona Saudi, Basma Al Sharif, Nida Sinnokrot, Sharif Waked, Kamal Youssef and Abdul Hay Mosallam Zarara.

This event is open to all and free to attend. However, advance booking is required.

Aflamuna, an Arab film series online through February.

AFLAMUNA. online — more info

All through the month of February

Aflamuna online is a non-profit platform dedicated to sharing independent films from the Arab region with audiences worldwide. Handpicked cult, classic, contemporary, and sometimes unreleased films that are mostly inaccessible to the public are made available free of charge every week. Viewers can sign up for free to access the bi-weekly films and enjoy this peculiar cinematic journey! Our favorite must-see pick is Omar Amiralay: Sorrow, Time, Silence directed by Hala Alabdalla, which is part-cinematic letter to an old friend, the late Syrian documentarian Omar Amiralay, and part-reflection on Syria then and now. In Syria, wounded by the tyrannical regime, Omar Amiralay dedicated his life to his country and to cinema. Forty years of political commitment and documentary filmmaking. Omar died in 2011, five weeks before the Syrian revolution.

For the full list of films playing this February, see here.

Mehek – Aakash Odedra & Aditi Mangaldas World Premiere, commissioned by The Arts Center, NYU Abu Dhabi, UAE.

Feb 7 & Feb 8 — more info

Mehek is a captivating contemporary dance performance that gives a voice to an unspoken and overlooked love story. Centered around a mature woman and a younger man, the dance delves deep into their intricate characters, challenging norms, and redefining the very essence of love. Derived from the Hindi word for fragrance, the title Mehek alludes to the enduring power of memory and the essence of love itself.

Aditi Mangaldas, dancing the first ever duet of her 50-year career, and Aakash Odedra weave a narrative that celebrates love in all its forms: raw, authentic, and infinitely resonant. The performers are two world-class Kathak dancers, and are the great South Asian dancers of their respective generations.

The performance on Feb 7th is followed by a post show Q&A with the artists, moderated by Shereen Saif, multidisciplinary artist.

Gaza Lives Toronto Palestine Film Festival 2024
Gaza Lives at the Toronto Palestine Film Festival.

Gaza Lives: Honoring Palestinian Artists: A Night of Readings, Music, and Art — Toronto Palestine Film Festival

Feb, 10, 2024, Downtown location will be shared to ticket holders —more info

Join TPFF for a unifying night of art and solidarity with Palestine. Special guests from Toronto’s diverse arts community will share a selection of works from Palestinian artists that have been lost since October7 , and those who are visioning Gaza’s liberated future.

Proceeds from the event will support TPFF’s 2024 programming and help us to continue showcasing Palestinian artistry, produce original films and offer educational workshops.

Image courtesy Women in Academia & Research.

Women in Academia & Research: Perspectives from Iran, Saudi Arabia & Kuwait

Feb. 20, 2024, Online (Zoom), Middle East Center — more info

This webinar, organized as part of the Italian Society for Middle Eastern Studies (SeSaMO)’s webinar series on “Research and the Middle East,” will present three research papers analyzing the current status of women in academia and research in Iran, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, delineating the accomplishments and challenges they face in their respective countries, providing tangible policy recommendations for change.

Anahita Motazed-Rad (Department of International Relations, LSE) will explore how gender discrimination in Iran systematically limits women’s access to educational, managerial, and administrative roles in higher education. Hanaa Almoaibed (LSE Middle East Center) will discuss the ways in which gender segregation has created both opportunities as well obstacles for growth within academia in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – and how women are navigating the changing context. Bibi Alajmi (Kuwait University) will investigate women’s perceptions of working in academic institutions in Kuwait, and gender discrimination within the different aspects of the higher education system.

You can also join the conversation on Twitter using #LSEMiddleEast

Past Disquiet Palais de Tokyo 2024
Past Disquiet Palais de Tokyo 2024

Past Disquiet Exhibition, Palais de Tokyo, Paris

Feb 16 — June 30, 2024 —more info

Past Disquiet is a documentary and archival exhibition that retraces the histories of political engagement and solidarity of artists within the international anti-imperialist movement from the 1960s through to the 1980s. The fruit of inquest initiated in 2008 by researchers and curators Kristine Khouri and Rasha Salti, the exhibition takes as its starting point the forgotten, transcontinental stories of four “museums in exile,” or “museums in solidarity,” conceived as touring exhibitions, they incarnated the support of artists worldwide to the struggle for liberation of the Palestinian and Nicaraguan people respectively, and the struggle against the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile and the apartheid regime in South Africa.

The International Art Exhibition for Palestine, which was held in Beirut in 1978 and which presented a collection of works of art intended for a future “museum in solidarity,” was the start of the project as a whole. Faced with a lack of institutional archives, the two researchers turned to private collections and collected oral history records by recording and filming interviews with people involved in the making of these four collections.

The documents presented in Past Disquiet, gathered over the course of travel to Jordan, Syria, Morocco, Egypt, Italy, France, Sweden, Germany, Poland, Hungary, South Africa and Japan, sketch the intersecting networks that linked artists, activists and collectives around interventions, demonstrations, exhibitions and unique collections that have themselves criss-crossed the globe.

Digital Rights Podcast Dr Nakeema Stefflbauer
Digital Rights Podcast Dr Nakeema Stefflbauer

TMR Podcast Pick:

Digital Rights and Big Tech in Mena Podcast launches at LSE Middle East Center

What kinds of obstacles are people in MENA facing with regards to access to technological opportunity and concerns around digital rights abuses? How are they tied to global challenges? Dr Nakeema Stefflbauer, tech executive, investor and digital rights advocate shares her thinking. This episode, which aired on January 30, also features comment from Kassem Mnejja and Marwa Fatafta of Access Now, a digital rights advocacy group. They discuss these issues in relation to Tunisia, Sudan and Palestine. Listen here.


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