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Wednesday 14th October 2020, 6.30 PM

ROSE Issa, portrait by sueraya shaheen, 2019

Open Discussions in association with Gulf Cultural Club invites you to an online discussion:
Middle Eastern Art under Covid-19

Speakers: *Rose Issa (Curator, writer & producer) **Najlaa El-Ageli (Founder of Noon Arts) *** Yousif Nasser (Iraqi artist & journalist) **** Becky Harrison (Communications & events officer, The Arab British Centre)

COVID-19 has dealt a devastating blow to the arts: galleries have closed, artists have not been able to exhibit their work and the lockdown, which is not completely over, has dampened a thriving Middle Eastern arts scene. But in London galleries focusing on Middle Eastern art have organized online exhibitions and zoom discussions with artists. Through facebook and other online forums artists have shared their work and communicated with one another.

How have artists responded to the pandemic? Has a new art of hope emerged heralding a brighter future? Have artists portrayed the suffering of the victims of COVID 19? Five prominent artists/curators will discuss Middle Eastern art during the time of COVID-19.

6.30pm, Wednesday 14th October 2020

Please attend the seminar on Zoom using this link:

Meeting ID: 842 6682 0684 Passcode: 123456

* Rose Issa is a curator, writer and producer who has championed visual art and film from the Middle East for more than 30 years. She has lived in London since the 1980s showcasing upcoming and established artists, producing exhibitions with public and private institutions worldwide, and running a publishing programme. Through curating numerous exhibitions and film festivals, she introduced Western audiences to many artists who have since become stars on the international scene, including: Ayman Baalbaki, Shadi Ghadirian, Monir Farmanfarmaian, Bahman Ghobadi, Hassan Hajjaj and Farhad Moshiri.

**Najlaa El-Ageli set up Noon Arts in 2012 as a small private arts foundation established to explore the new burgeoning Libyan arts scene that was born out of the revolutionary spirit and that heralded a new creative movement. The aim of Noon Arts was to spot and nurture the work of talented local artists and bring it to the international stage. Working as a freelancer from a London base at the moment - a city that hosts most thriving Arab arts and culture scene - Najlaa hopes to continue to source the best of both emerging and established artwork from Libya as well as the diverse terrain that is the MENA region and its many diaspora communities spread across the Western world.

***Yousif Nasser was born in Amara, Iraq in 1952. He has been painting and drawing from an early age. His early years were a mixture of education and menial labour including work on building sites. In 1975 he graduated from the academy of fine arts in Baghdad with BA in Fine Arts and worked as a designer for the Iraqi Communist Party's daily newspaper Tariq Al Shaab (The road of the people). His life in exile began in 1979 when he fled to Lebanon after the Baathist regime began persecuting political activists. In 1990 he moved to London and established the ARK which show-cased neglected aspects of cultural diversity, hosted hundreds of events, ranging from art exhibitions and classes, musical and film evenings and lectures. His latest project is a major exhibition around the anti-war theme in which Middle Eastern and international artists are participating.

****Becky Harrison: has been dedicated to promoting intercultural dialogue through the arts, with emphasis on literature, since graduating from her MA in Comparative Cultural Analysis in 2015.


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