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New Appointments at Ibraaz

009_05 / 7 January 2016

Ibraaz is pleased to announce a series of new appointments in 2016. Artist and curator Ala Younis will join us as our Contributing Editor and curator Amira Gad joins us as Commissioning Editor for essays. Both will be working closely with our Editor-in-Chief Anthony Downey on a series of upcoming projects, including the launch of Platform 010 in May, 2016, and the publication of Volume 03 in our Visual Culture series, Future Imperfect: Cultural Institutions and Contemporary Art Practices in the Middle East.


We are pleased to welcome a number of new editorial correspondents, some of whom will be already familiar to Ibraaz readers: Rahel Aima, Monira Al Qadiri, Shiva Balaghi, Laura Cugusi, Mai Elwakil, Reema Fadda, Samah Hijawi, Natasha Hoare, Göksu Kunak, and Tom Snow. 


Stephanie Bailey, formerly Ibraaz Managing Editor, will take over from Omar Kholeif as Senior Editor, following Kholeif's recent appointment as Manilow Senior Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. We would like to take this opportunity to thank Omar for his contributions to Ibraaz, and wish him all the best in his new position.


We present some recent contributions by our new editorial team below. Find out more about everyone on the About Us page, here.



The Future of Art in the Age of Militarized De-Production

Reema Salha Fadda


The culture of violence imposed by Israeli militarism disrupts and constrains creative practices in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). Israel's recent war of aggression against Palestinians in Gaza, which began in early July 2014, serves as a brutal reminder that Israel is in full control of accelerating the future of Palestine's cultural de-development.


Tracing Dissent at the Margins of Empire

Ahmad Makia and Rahel Aima


This paper is part of the research project 'The Pan-Arab Hangover', which focuses on the lingering ruins of Arab nationalism and how it plays out in the region's contemporary cultural production. It looks at Arabism's parent ideologies notably German romanticism and idealism and how 'unified Arabism' in art, culture, and writing is held up as a potential 'cure' to the region's problems.


How Toshihiko Made Me Understand Islam

Monira Al Qadiri


'Who would have thought that the best translation ever to be conducted of the Qur'an was actually in Japanese?' Monira Al Qadiri examines a 1958 version of the Islamic holy book by Dr. Toshihiko Izutsu, who finished reading the entire Qur'an only one month after beginning to learn Arabic. In this essay, Al Qadiri unpacks some of Dr. Izutsu's insights, nearly all of which remain untranslated from their original Japanese.


Performativity and Public Space

Samah Hijawi


'This is a speculative piece,' writes Samah Hijawi in this essay for Ibraaz Platform 009, 'in which I will try to unpack the relationship between artists' works in public spaces as performative gestures of active participation and critical citizenship; engagements with state security mechanisms of monitor and control.'



New Kids On The Block

Randa Mirza in conversation with Amira Gad


The New Kids On The Block (2011-12) is a project by Lebanese artist Randa Mirza, which to this date has never been presented before. This piece is the result of the artist's work, which began in October 2011, when she started working as an interpreter for Laure Stephan, a French journalist collaborating with Le Monde.


Past Disquiet

Rasha Salti and Kristine Khouri in conversation with Samah Hijawi


This interview follows the opening of Past Disquiet: Narratives and Ghosts from the International Exhibition for Palestine 1978 at MACBA Barcelona in February 2015, an archival and documentary show that takes the International Exhibition for Palestine of 1978 (organized by the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) in Beirut) as the starting point for an extensive research project. Here, Samah Hijawi talks to the exhibition's curators, Rasha Salti and Kristine Khouri.


The Great Journey

Lidia Al-Qattan in conversation with Monira Al Qadiri


Born in Italy as Lidia Guiseppe Scagnolari, Lidia Al-Qattan lived through the cruelties of Christian boarding schools and 'El Duce' Mussolini's Italy before moving to Kuwait in 1960, over half a century ago. She witnessed the rapid modernization of Kuwait from an empty desert-scape to one of the wealthiest countries in the world. In 1966, upon looking at the shiny reflections of a mirror her daughter had broken, Al-Qattan began to cover her entire house in mirror mosaics. In this interview, Monira Al Qadiri discusses this life project and its several phases.


A Letter’s Discourse

Yazan Khalili and Lara Khaldi in conversation with Natasha Hoare


Natasha Hoare speaks to artist Yazan Khalili and curator Lara Khaldi about their collaborative practice: performance lectures that draw together image, text, archive, film and sound through the epistolatory form. Often, their chains of communication form the public manifestation of shared research. Together, they create narratives that blend fact and fiction, temporality and geography, the intimate and the political.


Place, Space and Purpose

Lina Majdalanie in conversation with Göksu Kanak


In this interview with Göksu Kanak, Lina Majdalanie (previously known as Lina Saneh) challenges the concepts of 'East' and 'West' as dichotomies around which various elements of performance are situated – as opposing, unrelated histories within performance art as a field; as defined differing modes and styles; and as distinct, audience-specific perspectives.



Colony – Latitude

SALTWATER: A Theory of Thought Forms

Mai Elwakil

Tom Snow

Mai Elwakil reviews Colony – Latitude, an exhibition by Egyptian artist Shady El Noshokaty at Cairo's Gypsum Gallery (5 October–25 November 2015). For this show, the artist presented a living sculpture that grew over an eight-week period: a bubblegum-pink mountain range presenting the highest land points in each of his chosen colonies, inspired by a map from 1850, drawing out issues around colonization and architectural space.

Tom Snow offers an in-depth review on the 14th Istanbul Biennial, SALTWATER: A Theory of Thought Forms, an exhibition bound together – according to 'organizer' Carolyn Christov-Barkargiev – by 'one of the most ubiquitous materials in the world'. In response, Snow writes: 'Ubiquity might well speak to the conflicted politics of biennials currently, irrefutably caught between the homogenizing processes of neoliberal globalization and the movement against it'.


Six Decades in the Making

Townhouse: Practical Solutions, Impractical Conditions

Shiva Balaghi

Laura Cugusi

In this report, Parviz Tanavoli discusses his first comprehensive US museum retrospective, Parviz Tanavoli at the Davis Museum at Wellesley College, with one of the exhibit's curators, Dr. Shiva Balaghi.


On 6 October 2015, London's Serpentine Galleries director Hans Ulrich Obrist hosted a talk with William Wells, founder of Cairo's Townhouse Gallery. Ibraaz editorial correspondent Laura Cugusi reports.



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