[R6327] Knowledge Production and the Writing on Visual Culture in the Middle East from the 1950s to the late 1990s

Created by Yasmine Nachabe Taan
Wednesday, 12/01/21 11:30 am


The last few years have witnessed a rising interest in the production of knowledge and writing on visual culture in the Middle East. A number of initiatives have emerged to look into the aspirations and challenges faced by the graphic design practice in Lebanon, Syria, Egypt and Iraq focusing on the period between the 1950s and the late 1990s.
This roundtable discussion seeks to address the pressing need to establish a record of Arab visual culture and design history. The aim is not about rescuing visual material from the past as much as it is the concern and the responsibility to make the material accessible to future generations.

In an age defined by archival knowledge understood as an apparatus of social, political, cultural, and historical power, questions such as what to include and what to exclude in the historical narrative on the production of visual material in the region are raised. This knowledge depends on the accessibility of the archive, and the way visual material relates to the political and social conflicts.

In the absence of institutional archives and a historical narrative on graphic design in the middle east, the writing on design can create an alternative history, one that is reflected in the visual production (be it a poster, a book cover, a typeface, a page layout, a type design or an illustration).

This roundtable seeks to explore research methodologies and possible historical narratives in the writing on visual production in the region by raising the following questions: What are the challenges in locating, compiling, and developing material on visual culture in the region? How did the limited resources in print and production technologies shape visual production in the context of Lebanon, Syria, Egypt and Iraq? Can we speak of a dominant aesthetic strategy particular to the region? And how is this particular visual production seen as an extension of the political and cultural engagement? And how does it participate in the reconstruction of individual and collective identities be they revolutionary of national?

Scholars are invited to share case studies, research methodologies and alternative visual narratives in the analysis of visual production in the region. Please submit your (300-400 word) roundtable statement to Yasmine Nachabe Taan at Yasmine.nt@bilkent.edu.tr
or ytaan@lau.edu.lb


Organized under the auspices of the Khatt Foundation


Art/Art Hist; Art/Art Hist; Art/Art Hist; Art/Art Hist; Art/Art Hist; Art/Art Hist



Yasmine Nachabe Taan

(Lebanese American University currently visiting professor at Bilkent University)
Yasmine Nachabe Taan is Associate Professor in art and design practice and theory at the Lebanese American University, Beirut. Her research interest focuses on gender representation in photographs of the Middle East and North Africa region and on compiling...
Panel Participating Role(s): Organizer; Presenter;

Huda Smitshuijzen Abifares

(Khatt Books)
Dr. Huda Smitshuijzen AbiFarès is the Founding Director of the Khatt Foundation and Khatt Books publishers. Based in Amsterdam, her professional, cultural, and educational activities extend from the US and Europe to the Arab World. She holds degrees...
Panel Participating Role(s): Presenter;

Lara Balaa

(Rutgers University)
Lara Balaa is a doctoral student at the School of Communication and Information at Rutgers University in New Jersey. Her main research focuses on the early modern Latin-Arabic textbook as a cultural encounter between Europe and the Arab world. She also...
Panel Participating Role(s): Presenter;

Yara Khoury

(American University of Beirut)
Panel Participating Role(s): Presenter;

Lina Hakim

(Kingston University, London, UK)
Panel Participating Role(s): Presenter;

Mahmoud Elhosseiny

(Design Repository)
Panel Participating Role(s): Presenter;

Rasha Dakkak

(Sandberg Instituut)
Panel Participating Role(s): Presenter;