Art Talk: Listen to Gender Wars and Chadors Dicussion Organised by Canvas Magazine at Art Basel

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The discussion below was organised by Canvas Magazine at Art Basel Miami Beach and is the third and final of the Gender, Wars and Chadors talks on Contemporary Middle Eastern Art.  All three talks will be published as a book in 2010.

Artists Ghada Amer, Kader Attia and Akram Zaatari have an animated talk about how geographical categorisation, censorship, censorship, the future of art and their latest works moderated by Hans Ulrich Obrist, Co-director of Exhibitions and Programmes and Director of International Projects, Serpentine Gallery.

Talk Q&A
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Canvas Magazine click HERE
Artist Profiles on Artnet - Click each Name:
Ghada Amer / Kader Attia / Akram Zaatari

Literature: Alaa Al Aswany Talks to Kazbah about ‘Friendly Fire’ his Latet Collection of Short Stories

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This June Alaa Al Aswany’s latest work. Friendly Fire, a collection of 16 short stories and a novella, was published in the UK and Europe. Friendly Fire has generated quite a lot of media interest in The Times, The Guardian and other major media outlets.

So, make a cup of tea or coffee and click play below to join us in the world of Dr Alaa Al Aswany.  For low resolution version click LOWRES

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Art: Afruz Amighi Wins the Inaugural Jameel Prize

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Afruz Amighi Winning the Jameel PrizeHaving funded the acclaimed Jameel Gallery for Islamic Art at the Victoria and Albert Museum in memory of his Father, Saudi business man, philanthrope and entrepreneur Mohammed Abdul Latif Jameel’s latest realisation with the V&A is the biennial Jameel Prize for art.

At 730pm Tuesday 7th July Afruz Amighi was the jubilant recipient of the inaugural Jameel Prize of £25,000 for her delicate piece of hanging tracery, 1001 Pages, made from the plastic sheeting given to refugees.  Born in Iran and based in the US 35 year old Afruz Amighi was chosen from a hundred nominees who were shortlisted to nine.   Amongst the distinguished panel of judges were the seemingly ubiquitous Zaha Hadid and the British Museum’s eminent Venetia Porter.  See V&A video of the announcement at the bottom of this article.

1001 Pages by Afruz AmighiThe exhibition of all the shortlisted Jameel Prize artists runs 8th July to 13th September, those shortlisted are/were: Hamra Abbas, Reza Abedini, Afruz Amighi, Sevan Biçakçi, Hassan Hajjaj, Khosrow Hassanzadeh, Susan Hefuna, Seher Shah and Camille Zakharia.  Click HERE for more detail and pictures.

Can or does the heritage of Islamic art inspire contemporary art and design?

This is the subject that the Jameel Prize tackles. Islamic, in this context, is not restricted to Islam as a religion per se, rather the common cultural thread with which the spread of Islam linked the Indo-European, Arab, North African and the myriad of other cultures of the region spanning east from Morocco into India. Nor is the Jameel Prize limited to people who find their origins in that region, the prize is open to anyone who draws their inspiration from Islamic heritage.

The works of the short listed artists are to be found in an inconspicuous side-gallery on the western side of the V&A’s central courtyard. READ THE REST…

Radical Author Nawal el Saadawi Speaks About Her Life

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Nawal el SaadawiThe famed Egyptian activist and author, Nawal el Saadawi, jet lagged from a trans-atlantic flight but still full of the energy and the passion which comes through in her writing, gave a talk at Housman’s bookshop in April to celebrate the re-issuing of three of her books, Kate Kingsford writes.  Click HERE for her books.

Housman’s bookshop is one of the last truly radical bookshops in London, and, as such, the perfect setting for Nawal el Saadawi, a truly radical writer, campaigner, and feminist.

Woman at Point ZeroNawal has many talents, having trained as a doctor and studied many of the world’s religions.  However, she is most famous as a writer and an activist.  Her novel “Woman at Point Zero” is one of the best-known Arabic novels outside the Arab world and has become a key work of Arab feminist literature.  The novel reveals the wretchedness of one Egyptian woman’s life in a male-dominated society. Now in her late seventies, she appears decades younger and has lost none of her active commitment to women’s rights and social change.

Nawal has written 47 books and challenged political systems and ideology again and again.  Her passion is such that, despite years of threats against her life, being emprisoned in the 80’s for her outspoken criticism of the Egyptian government and having to spend periods in exile, she ran for president in 2005.  She has never held back in her attacks on patriarchy, capitalism and imperialism.  Currently an exile from her own country, she is now planning to return home. READ THE REST…

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