A major symposium focusing on contemporary art in the Middle East will take place at Tate on 22 and 23 January 2009.
This two-day event, which begins at Tate Britain and concludes at Tate Modern, brings together artists, curators and writers to discuss recent developments in contemporary art from the Middle East and its diaspora. With a mix of keynote talks by Derek Gregory (professor of geography, University of British Colombia, Vancouver) Mourid Barghouti (poet and author, I Saw Ramallah), Salah Hassan (professor, Art History, Cornell University) and Shumon Basar (curator, architect and author of Cities from Zero) the symposium comprises five sessions:Defining the Middle East; Writing and Translation; Art Now – Recent Exhibitions; Tradition and Modernity; and The Politics of Space.
The event will examine how we define the Middle East, how the interpretation of modern and contemporary art from the Middle East affects its understanding at home and abroad, how ideas about tradition and modernity have emerged and what the impact of new and emerging spaces for modern and contemporary art in different parts of the region will be.
Organised by Tate and the International Curators Forum in association with NAFAS online magazine, the symposium is part of the World Collections Programme, a collaborative initiative between six UK organisations which aims to develop greater access to their collections and expertise by building partnerships with organisations in Asia and Africa.