Two American filmmakers/artists talk about the challenges and rewards of making films about women living their daily lives in Cairo and Damascus. Each of the films, made in very different styles, chronicle a period right before Egypt and Syria were gripped by revolutionary turmoil. Short clips from each film will be shown in advance of the discussion. The participants include artist Judith Barry on Cairo Stories (Egypt) (info-duration) and director Julia Meltzer on The Light in Her Eyes (Syria, Info-duration, co-directed with Laura Nix), with moderator Sarah Gualtieri, author of Between Arab and White: Race and Ethnicity in the Early Syrian American Diaspora and Director of the Middle East Studies Program at USC. Seating is limited, tickets are $15, $10 students/members. Watch The Light in Her Eyes trailer here.
A beautiful night of inspired music awaits you when the Levantine Cultural Center presents the fourth edition of Café Arabesque with Al-Fareed of Radio Al-Fareed and his band Bedouin-X.
The Inside/Outside Gallery at the Levantine Cultural Center presents دورود Dorood: New Art from Iran, with an opening reception on March 28, 2014. Dorood will be on view daily through April 27, 2014. This exhibition includes dozens of new and recent works from younger/underground artists working in Tehran and other cities in Iran, curated by Azeri-Iranian American artist Marjan Vayghan, who travels back and forth between her two countries and very much experiences life "being between worlds." Many of the artists in Dorood are showing work in the United States for the first time. The term "Dorood" is a formal ancient Persian term for "Hello" or "greetings" and was inspired by one of the artists, Elaheh Mahdavi, showcased in the exhibition.
Notes curator Marjan Vayghan, Dorood is not an exhibition about "saving Iran" or "giving Iran's youth a voice"; Iran and the youth of Iran are not apart of some entity that needs "saving." The artists in this exhibition, she points out, are not subalterns in need of exposure. Rather, the works showcased are extant of raw, pure talent and contain strength that can only be forged within the gears of adversity. Life in Iran's Islamic Republic presents many challenges to individual freedom of expression, yet Dorood recognizes the fact that these artists are in some sense already empowered and the exhibit therefore is a site for cultural exchange. Dorood is bringing the voices of young Iranians to the West so that we can benefit from the epic knowledge, perspective and audacious talent of Iran's youth. Gallery exhibitors are welcome to address comments and thank you letters directly to our artists.
"The map is not the territory," a phrase coined by Alfred Korzybski, is the lesser-known counterpart to Magritte's charming "This is not a pipe." Unlike "This is not a pipe"—an image that has been rendered safe by multiple reproductions and parodies, by now of little relevance unless you are an Art History major—the phrase "the map is not the territory" is charged with political and cultural meaning of the most subversive sort. This meaning inspires the upcoming exhibit at the Inside/Outside Gallery, Levantine Cultural Center, conceived by Jennifer Heath and co-curated by Heath and Dagmar Painter.
One land, divided by walls and nomenclature like "annexed," "territory," "Manifest Destiny," until it is in bloody fragments. One people, divided by one thing, and then another, until they can barely recognize their own kin. Like blown dandelion seeds, people venturing out from their homeland, only to find themselves always looking backwards, and wondering how to retrace their steps. Such are the images and anxieties at the heart of The Map is Not the Territory: Parallel Paths—Palestinians, Native Americans, Irish.
In 66 works by 39 artists, The Map Is Not the Territory looks at relationships and commonalities in Palestinian, Native American, and Irish experiences of invasion, occupation, and colonization—not as novelty or polemic, but as history and current events. Although many peoples worldwide have suffered long and often brutal intrusions, Palestinians, Native Americans and the Irish have intersected for centuries in specific and often unusual ways. What are some of these intersections and how do contemporary artists examine and process them through their own lives and visions? The Map Is Not the Territory opened in 2013 at The Jerusalem Fund Gallery Al-Quds in Washington, D.C.—the first stop for this five-year traveling art exhibition, 2013-2018. See a Washington Post review of the show.
To help sponsor this exhibition, contact 310.657.5511, or contribute here.