Can street theatre and community murals make a difference? Is this what we mean by "cultural diplomacy"?
The Levantine Cultural Center presents Art and Activism in Bil'in: from Los Angeles to Palestine, an evening of public conversation, photography and art in the context of dialogue and conflict resolution. In October 2014, a team of Los Angeles based-artists formed part of a historic effort in the West Bank village of Bil'in, Palestine, when Imaginaction director Hector Aristizabal brought together an international group of artists and creative activists for an arts residency that engaged hundreds in Bil'in and neighboring villages. Working with local and regional Palestinian cultural leaders, the group engaged community in art and theater workshops that resulted in public performances, large scale puppets and murals painted in collective fashion along roads and buildings.
The group also joined their talents to support Bil'ins emblematic weekly demonstrations. Bil'in is the West Bank village featured in Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi's award-winning documentary, 5 Broken Cameras. For over a decade the non-violent protests have become a symbol for Palestinian cultural resistance to the barrier wall that snakes through Bil'in's ancestral olive groves appropriating lands and fortifying the Israeli settlement of Modi'in Illit. During their time in Bil'in. the group witnessed celebration and harvest as well as danger and violence as they worked with the persistent and heroic people of Bil'in.
$10 suggested contribution. Seating limited, reservations strongly advised: 323.413.2001. See below for participant bios.
Levantine Cultural Center presents "Los Angeles-Beirut," a literary exploration of the two cities through the eyes of two Beirutis transplanted to Los Angeles and an American-born novelist whose recent book tells the story of a Beiruti transplanted to Los Angeles. Novelist Aris Janigian will read from and discuss his new novel This Angelic Land, the story of Adam Derderian, a hip, 27-year old bar owner, during his six-day journey through the 1992 Los Angeles riots. Seeming to carry scant memory of Lebanon's civil war, from which Derderian had fled while still a boy, the landscape of the riots now finds him revisiting the world he thought he had escaped. Derderian engages with Armenian gangsters, members of the Nation of Islam, a Hancock Park playboy and a Kurdish scenic artist as he watches his adopted city ransacked and set ablaze. Unflinchingly candid, This Angelic Land is also a timely tour de force. Critic D.J. Waldie of the Los Angeles Review of Books has called it "today's necessary book." Read Levantine Review's take on This Angelic Land.
By Amal Abdul Aziz
Ibi Ibrahim is a visual artist and film director from Sana'a, Yemen. He draws his inspiration from being raised in a conservative household and culture. His work circles the challenges people live through in Muslim conservative societies vis à vis sexuality, individuality and identity. Ibi Ibrahim was born in 1987 and currently lives and works in the United States.
1. Who is Ibi Ibrahim, besides being a visual artist, writer & director?
I feel I'm on this self discovery journey. As years pass, I learn more about who I am and what my purpose in life is. I am curious by nature, and always look for something to grab my interest. To many people, I'm the artist who's a rebel against censorship. To me, I'm a just a dreamer from Yemen.
The holidays are a time for levity and friendship! We are pleased to present fine art, books, DVDs, CDs, jewelry, clothing and various and sundry items for sale in our gallery-bookshop! All sales support the Levantine Cultural Center's arts and educational programming in 2012. Free refreshments and gift wrapping, up to 50% off all items in stock! Get your holiday shopping done early, stop by the Levantine Cultural Center...
The Levantine Cultural Center, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that champions a greater understanding of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), seeks to build a new library and resource center that will provide access to valuable research materials. The library will be open to the public beginning Monday, November 7, and will be available during regular center hours, Monday-Saturday, 10 am-6 pm.
By Saba Mohtasham
A Palestinian woman sits on a hill of dirt, resting her heavy head on her left hand. Behind her lay the remains of her demolished home. And next to this photograph reads the quote “If you lived here, you would be home by now.”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE [Los Angeles, January 24, 2011]—The Levantine Cultural Center, in participation with Women's Voices Now, will present the Women's Voices Now Benefit Party on February 4, 2011 8pm-midnight at the Bradford Stewart Studio, 5872 Smiley Dr., Culver City, 90232. This important night will introduce Women's Voices from the Muslim World: A Short-Film Festival—giving voice to women of all faiths living in Muslim-majority countries and Muslim women living as minorities around the globe—taking place March 17-19 at the LA Film School.
[For Immediate Release—Los Angeles, 12/23/2010] On Friday, January 7, 2011, 7:30 pm, the Levantine Cultural Center's monthly New Voices in Middle Eastern Cinema series will present a special screening of visual artist Shirin Neshat's first feature film, Women Without Men, winner of the Venice Film Festival's Silver Bear. Set against the tumultuous backdrop of Iran's 1953 CIA- and Mi5-backed coup d'état against the democratically-elected president, Mohammad Mossadegh, the destinies of four women converge in a beautiful orchard garden, where they find independence, solace and companionship.