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JAOU Tunis 2015

008 / 18 May 2015
Jaou Tunis 2015.
Jaou Tunis 2015.

Visual Culture in an Age of Global Conflict


The Kamel Lazaar Foundation is pleased to announce that it will stage a two-day conference at the National Museum of Bardo from 28–29 May, 2015. This will be the 3rd iteration of the JAOU initiative to be held there and the first international conference at the Museum since the terrorist attacks on Wednesday, 18 March 2015.


Organized in advance of those attacks, the conference has since taken on an additional pertinence in relation to any investigation into the role that culture performs in the personal, social, public, and political discourses that are unfolding across the region. The indiscriminate attacks have further highlighted the susceptibility of culture in an age of global terror, as have the recent destruction of artifacts in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere. The questions that remain demand exploration and considered responses if we are to not only condemn these attacks but also ensure that culture and civil society will prevail in the face of extremism, violence and indiscriminate killing.


JAOU 2015 will bring together local and international artists, curators, academics, and cultural practitioners to address these concerns and will include, alongside other events, a condition report on visual culture in the Maghreb, an extended series of round table discussions on, respectively, collaborative geographies in an age of global conflict, the future of art institutions in the Middle East, the role of artistic practices in building international relations and local institutions, the use of archives in contemporary art practices, and the historical genealogies that inform performance art in the Middle East.


Confirmed speakers and performers for the event include Sultan Al Qassemi, Lina Attalah, Mohamed Aziza, Saleh Barakat, Syhème Belkhoja, Moncef Ben Moussa, Antonia Carver, Svetlana Costa, Anthony Downey, Aadel Essaadani, Hela Fattoumi, Wassim Ghozlani, Nadia Kaabi Linke, Hiwa K., Tania El Khoury, Amal Khalaf, Lina Lazaar, Kamel Lazaar, Sofiane Ouissi, Mourad Sakli, and Slavs and Tatars.


The conference will also include an accelerated session, hosted by Thinkers and Doers, to enable 4 short-listed cultural entrepreneurs to present projects that promote Arab culture and, in turn, evaluate value its economical, social, educational and environmental footprint.


Alongside the symposium, JOAU will showcase entirely unique, container-based, mobile art exhibition, which will be situated in the heart of Carthage. Curated by Lina Lazaar, this inaugural exhibition will explore the interplay between sacred space, religious ritual, cultural convention, and everyday life. Artists involved in this include Adel Abidin, Rashed Al Shashai, Zoulikha Bouabdellah, Mounir Fatmi, and Moataz Nasr.


Further events include a series of organized tours of galleries and museums in Tunis, a film premiere, workshops, and books launches, including volume 02 in the Foundation's Visual Culture in the Middle East Series: Dissonant Archives: Contemporary Visual Culture and Contested Narratives in the Middle East. The Foundation will also launch a series of new initiatives to support the infrastructural development of cultural institutions across the Maghreb and Middle East.


The attack on the National Museum of Bardo was designed to undermine the nascent democratic model of Tunisia, the country's economy, the voice of its people, and the vibrant culture of the region by targeting innocent people in a museum renowned for its outstanding mosaic collections and exceptional works of art.


This attack will not succeed in achieving those goals.


Fari Bradley and Chris Weaver will conduct interviews with a selection of panelists over the conference for broadcast on arts-music radio station Resonance104.4FM. Daily podcasts will be available to download from the show's webpage.


Full details of the conference, including panels, round-tables, exhibitions, performances, film premieres, book launches, and other surrounding events, can be found on the Kamel Lazaar Foundation website.


Listen to an interview with JAOU Founder Lina Lazaar here, in which she discuses with Fari Bradley the current North African art scene and the origins behind JAOU.




Sign up to the Kamel Lazaar Foundation newsletter to receive more information on the conference and other surrounding events of JAOU Tunis 2015.


Thursday 28 May


Opening Remarks

– Kamel Lazaar, Chairman, Kamel Lazaar Foundation

– Moncef Ben Moussa, Director, National Museum of Bardo



Roundtable I

Culture in an Age of Global Conflict

Chair: Ghazi Gherairi, Jurist and Academic, Tunisia

– Alexandre Kazerouni, Research Fellow, Sciences-Po, Paris

– Sultan Al Qassemi, President, Barjeel Art Foundation, Sharjah

– Mohamed Aziza, Chancellor of the World Poetry Academy of Verona (Italy)

Respondents: Anthony Downey, Editor-in-Chief, Ibraaz, and Lina Lazaar, founder of JAOU






Keynote I

– Aadel Essaadani, Culture Speciailst and Founder of Abbatoirs de Casablanca

General States of Culture in Morocco


Responses and questions






Roundtable II

Maghreb Condition Report I: The Choreographed Body in Tunisian Culture

Chair: Hela Fattoumi, Director of the National Choreographic Centre of Caen, Basse-Normandie

– Oumaima Manaï, dancer and choreographer, Tunis

– Wael Maghni, dancer, Tunis

– Marwen Errouine, choreographer, Tunis

Respondent: Syhème Belkhodja, Founder of Ness el Fenn and Kalimat, Tunis



Lecture-Performance I

– Hiwa K., artist, Berlin

Starting from the Middle

Responses and questions






Roundtable III
Performing Archives/Archiving Performance: Contemporary Art Practices across the Middle East

Chair: Anthony Downey, Editor-in-Chief, Ibraaz

– Nadia Kaabi-Linke, artist, Berlin

– Tania El Khoury, artist, Beirut

– Héla Ammar, artist

– Slavs and Tatars, artists, Berlin

Respondent: Amal Khalaf, Commissioning Editor, Ibraaz, and Hiwa K., artist, Berlin.





Friday 29 May



Thinkers and Doers: Accelerated Session

Moderator: Amandine LePoutre, Founder, Thinkers and Doers

Five minute presentations by:

– Lilia Ben-Gacem, Blue Fish

– Anne Hélèn Decaux and Valérie Konde, Pavilion33

Amine Chouaieb, Chifco

– Alizée Doumerc and Camille Caubriere, GUESTVIEWS

– Bobby Demri, GOV

Respondent: Mourad Sakli, Musicologist and Former Tunisian Minister of Culture, Tunisia



Keynote II

– Lecture-Performance by Slavs and Tatars

Al Isnad or Chains We Can Believe In

Responses and questions





Roundtable IV

Maghreb Condition Report II: Visual Culture in the Maghreb

Chair: Svetlana Costa, Curator and Artistic Director, Arts Cabinet, London

– Anabelle Boissier, Research Associate, LAMES, Paris

– Mourad Sakli, Musicologist and Former Minister of Culture, Tunisia

– Wassim Ghozlani, Co-Founder, Maison De L'Image

– Moncef Dhouib, filmmaker, Tunis

– Hind Meddeb, Filmmaker, Journalist, Director, Tunisia Clash

– Rita Alaoui, Founder and Artist, The Ultra Laboratory, Morocco


Respondents: Evangeline Kim, art consultant, and Riccarda Mandrini, journalist, Italy





Roundtable V: Future Imperfect: Art Institutions in the Arab World

Chair: Sultan Al Qassemi, President, Barjeel Art Foundation, Sharjah

– Saleh Barakat, Director, Agial Gallery, Beirut

– George Arbid, Architect and Founder of Arab Centre for Architecture, Beirut

– Sofiane Ouissi, Co-Founder, Dream City, Tunis

– Lina Attallah, Editor, Mada Masr, Cairo

– Antonia Carver, Fair Director, Art Dubai

Respondent: Chair: Svetlana Costa, Curator and Artistic Director, Arts Cabinet, London


KLF: Condition Report and Perspectives

– Local initiatives supported by KLF, Elsa Despiney

– Launch of Ibraaz Platform 009, and Dissonant Archives: Contemporary Visual Culture and Contested Narratives in the Middle East by Anthony Downey

– Launch of the Maghreb Directory, and launch of Kamel Lazaar Foundation website Version 2.0, Nour Sacranie and Hydar Dewachi

– Development of the Museum of Contemporary Art of Tunis, Soumaya Gharsallah-Hizem



Closing Remarks

Lina Lazaar, Founder, JAOU


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