In 66 works by 39 artists, The Map Is Not the Territory: Parallel Lives of Palestinians, Native Americans, Irish 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? Co-curated by Jennifer Heath and Dagmar Painter, The Map Is Not the Territory opened 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.
On Thursday, April 10th, see this exciting, very funny show, laugh with six Middle Eastern American stand-up comedians to humor that is satirical and universal.
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.
What shaped the C.I.A., and how does the agency play a role in our foreign policy in the Middle East and North Africa? The Levantine Cultural Center presents a public forum and book signing with intelligence historian Hugh Wilford and former C.I.A. case officer Robert Baer, in conversation about the history of the agency's Arabists and the direction of U.S. Middle East foreign policy, particularly with respect to Israel, Iran and Syria. The discussion will be moderated by journalist and political commentator Robert Scheer. The program is made possible in part by Truthdig and LA Jews for Peace. KPFK Pacifica Radio 90.7 FM is a media sponsor.
Hugh Wilford's new book is America's Great Game, The CIA's Secret Arabists and the Shaping of the Modern Middle East. Robert Baer is a former CIA case officer who served everywhere from Iraq to the former Soviet Union. (The 2005 film Syriana, starring George Clooney, was an adaptation of several of his books about the intelligence world.) Baer is the author of See No Evil: The True Story of a Ground Soldier in the CIA's War on Terrorism; Sleeping with the Devil: How Washington Sold Our Soul for Saudi Crude; and The Devil We Know: Dealing with the New Iranian Superpower. Robert Scheer is the editor-in-chief of the online news magazine Truthdig and a regular commentator on KCRW's Left, Right and Center.
EXTENDED THROUGH MARCH 21. Influenced by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Picasso and Marc Chagall among others, Ramsey Chahine is a young and prolific artist whose work is playful yet often profound. His paintings express a love of life, as well as a passionate curiosity about the meaning of things. The Levantine Cultural Center's Inside/Outside Gallery is pleased to present THE POISON IS THE CURE, the first major California exhibition of the work of Ramsey Chahine, featuring more than 25 mixed media paintings and sculptures. The exhibition is available daily for viewing, Feb. 1-March 15, 2014.
Ramsey Chahine, a Lebanese-Palestinian American, was born in Redondo Beach, California. He currently works in New York City.
His aficionados in New York, Los Angeles and Dubai have alternatively compared him with Jean-Michel Basquiat and even Marc Chagall. But while Ramsey Chahine is young and prolific, he proclaims neither allegiance nor debt to a single inspiration. Playful yet often profound, Chahine's paintings express a love of life, as well as a passionate curiosity about the meaning of things. The Levantine Cultural Center's Inside/Outside Gallery is pleased to present THE POISON IS THE CURE, the first major California exhibition of the work of Ramsey Chahine, featuring more than 25 mixed media paintings and sculptures. A reception for the artist takes place on Saturday, February 1, 7-11 pm, and the show will be available daily for viewing, Feb. 1-March 15, 2014.
Ramsey Chahine, a Palestinian American, was born in Redondo Beach, California. He currently works in New York City.
Rainn Wilson ("The Office") introduces Omid Djalili, one of Britain's top comedians, to Los Angeles, and Andy Daly opens the show. Omid is a favorite throughout Europe and the Middle East. International superstar comedian, actor (PIRATES OF THE CARRIBEAN, GLADIATOR, THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH, THE MUMMY, CASANOVA, MODIGLIANI, THE INFIDEL) and promoter of peace Omid Djalili will be doing one show only in Southern California, to benefit the Levantine Cultural Center, on Saturday evening, December 7th, 8:30 pm. Cosponsored by Downtown LA Motors. Get tickets here.
This is a 90-minute after-dinner show at the historic Wadsworth Theatre, the prominent westside Los Angeles venue, just west of Westwood, featuring guest appearances by nationally-known American comedian/actors RAINN WILSON and Andy Daly! Dine before the show in nearby restaurants such as Shamshiri Grill, Sunnin or Tagine, then come to the Wadsworth to savor an evening of laughter. (VIP ticket holders enjoy a post-show reception with the artist.)
ADVERTISE YOUR MESSAGE IN THE PROGRAM!
Make your voice heard in support of the Levantine Cultural Center's work on behalf of the Middle East/North Africa and our communities in diaspora. Run a full page ad ($350), 1/2 page ($200) or 1/4 page ($150) expressing your message of peace, tribute, or business promotion. Or publish a name listing ($50). We will create your ad for you. Publication full size page is 5.5 x 8.5 inches, half 5.5 x 4.25", quarter 2.25 x 4.25". Call 310.657.5511. Deadline for ad acceptance: Mon., Nov. 25, 3 pm.
If you are driving west on Wilshire Blvd., after you cross under the 405 Fwy., exit Wilshire Blvd to the right and travel down to the first stop sign. Turn right onto Bonsall Avenue and travel uphill to the next stop sign. Then turn left onto Eisenhower Avenue and park as directed by attendants.
If you are traveling east on Wilshire Blvd., you will exit Wilshire Blvd to the right at the Wadsworth Theatre/VA Hospital sign and travel down to the first stop sign. Turn left onto Bonsall Avenue, travel under Wilshire Blvd. At the second stop sign Turn left onto Eisenhower Avenue and as directed by attendants.
The 17th Annual Arab Film Festival (AFF) opens in Los Angeles on October 18, 2013 at the Harmony Gold Theatre with When Monaliza Smiled as the spotlight film. The festival also features Detroit Unleaded, Casablana Mon Amour, Mars at Sunrise and They Were Promised the Sea, among ten additional titles.
The Arab Film Festival is the largest independent annual showcase of Arab films and filmmakers in the country. The festival has an international standing and is considered one of the most important Arab film festivals outside the Arab world. It strives to present the best contemporary films that provide insight into the beauty, complexity and diversity of the Arab world alongside realistic perspectives on Arab people, culture, art, history and politics.
Musical artist Sahba Motallebi and poet Sholeh Wolpé, masters of their craft, create a collaborative program highlighting the beauty of Persian music and international poetry in English, including Wolpé's work, Tahirih, Forugh Farrokhzad and a performance of Walt Whitman's poetry in English and Persian. They will perform together Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013 (date reset from 10/10/13) in an intimate evening with limited seating. If you love poetry and classical-traditional Persian music, you'll want to attend this performance.
Tickets $20, $15 students and members of the Levantine Cultural Center, $25 at the door. Advance reservations are strongly recommended. Coffees, teas and small plates available in Café Rumi. Open bar. This performance generously cosponsored by Anonymous donors. (To learn how you can underwrite Middle Eastern arts, contact us at 310.657.5511.)
A Celebration of Palestinian Culture presents matinee (2:30-5:30 pm) and evening (6:30-10:30 pm) performances by the Bethlehem-based dance company, Diyar Dance Theatre, in its Southern California debut, offering a colorful fusion of traditional debke, ballet and theatrical dance moves. And the Lyd/Lod-based hip hop trio DAM, now the hottest group of rappers in the Middle East, makes a special return engagement (9:30 pm), with film screenings and conversation (3:30-5:30 pm). A reception for the evening, 6:30, all taking place at the Harmony Gold Theatre, 7655 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles CA 90046. The Diyar Dance Theatre includes up to 40 talented, enthusiastic and committed dancers, both male and female of different age groups and backgrounds; DAM is a household name in the Middle East.
Film Schedule: 3:30 pm, The Stones Cry Out, dir. Yasmine Perni ('55). 4:39 pm, It's Better to Jump (80'), dir. Patrick Stewart, Mouna Stewart, Gina M. Angelone. (More below.)