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  • Where to Now?

    Ibraaz Platform 010, which marks our fifth year of research and publishing, will consider the following question: what can the regional politics of cultural production across North Africa and the Middle East tell us about the politics of global cultural production today? Underwriting this research platform, we will ask an...

  • Return to the Former Middle East

    In his editorial to mark the fifth anniversary since the launch of Ibraaz, Editor-in-Chief Anthony Downey reflects upon recent cultural and socio-political developments within the Middle East and North Africa and how they have generated new and more overt challenges to cultural production across the region.

  • Ibraaz Platform 009: Performance

    In his editorial to Platform 009, Ibraaz Editor-in-Chief Anthony Downey asks the question 'What are the genealogies of performance art in North Africa and the Middle East?' In asking this question, Ibraaz's Platform 009 will examine the occluded and overt histories of performance art in the Arab world.

  • Event Horizon

    Visual artist and filmmaker Eric Baudelaire talks to Ibraaz Editor-in-Chief Anthony Downey about the themes of disjunction, the real, and the representation of the 'event' in his work. Tracing the development of his career from the social sciences to the field of art, as inspired by his time in the...

  • Performative Resonances

    Hiwa K's work fundamentally interrogates the position of the artist, formal education systems and the resonances, both literally and aurally, of historical events. In this far ranging conversation between the artist, Anthony Downey and Amal Khalaf, Hiwa reflects upon his most recent work The Bell (2007 – 2015) and previous...

  • Mirrors for Princes

    In this extensive interview, taken from the book Mirrors for Princes: Both Sides of the Tongue (2015), Anthony Downey and Beatrix Ruf talk to Slavs and Tatars about the history of the self-help genre. A form of political writing that advises rulers on state matters, 'mirrors for princes' were concerned...

  • Platform 008 Editorial

    In his editorial for Platform 008, Ibraaz Editor-in-Chief Anthony Downey introduces our research question for the next six months: how, he asks, do we productively map the historical and contemporary relationships that exist between North Africa, the regions of the Middle East and the Global South? Proposing a long-term need...

  • Platform 007: Future Imperfect (Part II)

    In part two of Anthony Downey's editorial for Platform 007, Ibraaz's Editor-in-Chief reflects on the contributions to this platform to date. In posing the question, What is the future of arts infrastructures and audiences across North Africa and the Middle East?, Platform 007 produced responses that take into account where...

  • Re-Enacting Rupture

    Lamia Joreige writes: ' When excavating specific instances or locations, whether from the past, present, or projected future, intertemporal continuities and ruptures surface via what persists, what has vanished, and the promise of knowing and imagining inherent in both.' In this interview with Anthony Downey, Joreige discusses her works and...

  • Photography as Apparatus

    Photographs are affected by their means of production, reproduction and distribution. The social and political economy in which they circulate, in turn, imbricates the very fabric and content of a photograph. In this extensive conversation with Akram Zaatari, these implications are explored and the ramifications for photography as an archival...

  • Archival Dissonance

    An archive is often viewed as a record of sorts: a collation of historical documents that orders and records information about people, places and events. This view, nevertheless, has tended to obscure a crucial aspect of the archive and the archival process: it is not only unstable and subject to...

  • Common Grounds and Common Cultures

    The Kamel Lazaar Foundation was founded with the ambition to promote thought leadership in the visual arts. Its long-term mission is to respond to the imminent need for the creation and dissemination of visual arts in the Maghreb and the Arab World. Through research and publishing initiatives, support for exhibitions,...

  • The Future of the Future

    In this editorial, Ibraaz Editor Anthony Downey responds to the themes of Platform 005, exploring the links produced by the content being published in what has been one of Ibraaz's most challenging platforms to date. In thinking about how a globalised cultural economy and how it affects cultural production and...

  • From Invisible Enemy to Enemy Kitchen

    Michael Rakowitz is an Iraqi-American conceptual artist whose work is influenced by his cultural origins, not so much in terms of identity, but as a means through which to engage issues that affect cultural production and the loss of culture. An artist with a concern for the economies of exchange...

  • For the Common Good

    In recent months there have been repeated clashes between so-called extremists and secularists across Tunisia. Of course, these two apparently opposed positions elide a multiplicity of other positions, but the clashes nevertheless intensified following the assassination of Chokri Belaid, the leader of the leftist opposition and a prominent critic of...

  • Domestic Nature

    In this video interview, artist Abbas Akhavan walks Anthony Downey through his exhibition Study of a Garden. Produced during a ten-week residency hosted by the Delfina Foundation in London, and in direct response to the Foundation’s adjacent and soon-to-be renovated space at 31 Catherine Place, the exhibition staged a series...

  • The Video That Exploded

    Roy Samaha is a Lebanese artist based in Beirut. Practicing with video and photography since 2002, he has exhibited in numerous film and contemporary art festivals. Between 1998 and 2008, he worked in the television industry as part of his field research on electronic media. He got his Master's degree...

  • Common Grounds

    In the last year or so, a perennial issue has re-emerged in discussions of contemporary art practices in the Middle East and North Africa: what is the relationship of art to politics; or, similarly, what is the relationship of the aesthetic to revolutionary forms of activism? The confusion, intentional or...

  • Stereotyping the Stereotypes

    Tarek Al-Ghoussein is an artist based in the UAE. His work has appeared in international exhibitions throughout Europe, the United States and the Middle East. His work is also featured in several anthologies and a monograph on his work In Absentia was published by Page One and The Third Line...

  • An Accidental Orientalist

    Having worked as a lawyer for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Tom Bogaert has managed to garner a degree of access to communities throughout the Middle East that is often difficult to acquire. In his work with refugees he has witnessed first-hand the geo-politics of the region...

  • In the Event of Fire

    On a recent return flight from Beirut, I chanced upon a book in the airport bookshop that foregrounded, no doubt unintentionally, many of the problems associated with examining the physical and psychological aftermath of the Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990). The book in question seemed particularly naïve in its approach to...

  • Where to Now

    The city of Carthage is a tale of multiculturalism and globalisation before these terms had currency in post-colonial studies and the free market rhetoric of neo-liberal expansionism. The name of the city has roots in Latin, Aramaic, Hebrew, Phoenician, Etruscan, Arabic, and Ancient Greek terminology. It has also been populated...

  • Ibraaz Platform 003 Editorial: What Was Lost?

    In January of 2012, Ibraaz invited a number of individuals to respond to a question concerning how artistic practices negotiate institutional contexts, public spaces, and the ideal of civil society in the Middle East today. In doing so, we wanted to broaden this discussion beyond the region and engage in...

  • Home Workspace

    Since its inception in 1994, Ashkal Alwan has become an international platform for the creation and exchange of ideas around artistic practices and educational processes. Having initially committed its resources to introducing the work of artists who were working within, and following on from the events of post-war Lebanon, the...

  • Word Stress

    In a recent project with the Showroom in London, Lawrence Abu Hamdan presented The Freedom of Speech Itself (2012), an audio documentary that examined the history and application of forensic speech analysis and voice-prints in the United Kingdom's controversial use of 'voice analysis'. Accent, always a key signifier in determining...

  • An Aesthetics of Expiration

    Born in Saida, Lebanon, in 1978, Ziad Antar studied at the American University in Beirut and the École Supérieure d'études Cinématographiques (ESEC) in Paris. His work in photography and video examines approaches to photography and what processes lie behind the production of images, not to mention their subsequent role as...

  • Lost in Narration

    On the occasion of Rabih Mroué's US debut on the 6 January 2012, as part of PS122's COIL Festival , Anthony Downey speaks to the Beirut-based artist about his new 'lecture-performance' The Pixelated Revolution (2012), a work which examines the production of images in the context of the Syrian Revolution.

  • Restaging the (Objective) Violence of Images

    The work of Reza Aramesh, on the face of it, may seem to utilise relatively traditional forms of media; namely, sculpture and photography. However, it is important to note that his work has a performative element to it inasmuch as the images we see in both his photographs and the...

  • Curatorial Conundrums – Arab Representation at the 54th Venice Biennale

    The 54th Venice Biennial was notable for a number of things, not least the number of Arab artists represented there and, in some instances, the cancellation of shows – for a variety of different reasons – associated with the Middle East and North Africa. In a time of on-going revolt...

  • Beyond the Former Middle East

    It would be tempting, in light of recent events in the Middle East, to render interpretations of contemporary visual culture within and beyond the region as being somehow responsive to the socio-political upheavals and freedoms currently being fought over. However, as Anthony Downey argues here, there is the heuristic danger...