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Art Breath x SOAS: Light on the Middle East - Talk & Soirée

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Brunei Suite - Ground Floor, Brunei Building

SOAS University of London

Russell Square

London

WC1H 0XG

United Kingdom

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"Light on the Middle East, through Art, Humanities & Social Sciences" with Venetia Porter and James Watt

Art Breath, in collaboration with SOAS, will hold a series of events looking at the intricate relationship between art and politics. Through the lens of art, the themes that will be explored throughout the series are: soft power, freedom of expression, street art, gender, identity, conflict, peace building, and many more.

The fourth event in the series will take place on Tuesday 28 November - in the format of discussion and Q&A followed by a drinks reception.

The topic of discussion is "Light on the Middle East, through Art, Humanities & Social Sciences". Venetia Porter will discuss how art, contemporary art, is shedding light and bringing forth perspectives from the region. James Watt will talk about his experience in the Middle East, share his expertise on the region and present the Council for British Research in the Levant (CBRL).

Speakers:

  • Venetia Porter: Venetia Porter is a curator at the British Museum. Responsible for the collection of Islamic art, in particular of the Arab World and Turkey, Venetia is also developing the collection of the modern and contemporary art of the Middle East. She gained a degree in Arabic and Persian at the University of Oxford, followed by a M.Phil in Islamic Art, obtaining her Ph.D on 'The history and monuments of the Tahirid dynasty of the Yemen' from the University of Durham. She has curated several exhibitions including 'Hajj: Journey to the heart of Islam' (2012) ; 'Word into Art: Artists of the Modern Middle East' (2006) ; 'Mightier than the Sword', Ian Potter Museum, Melbourne, (2003) ; 'Islamic Arts Museum', Malaysia, (2004). Her research and publications range from Arabic inscriptions to Middle Eastern art. She is currently the lead curator for the Albukhary Foundation Gallery, which will open in October 2018.
  • James Watt: James Watt CVO is a former British Ambassador with long experience of the Arab world, now living in London and Beirut. He was the British Ambassador to Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon. He was also the Director for Consular Affairs in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London. This year he became Chairman of the Council for British Research in the Levant, a charity that sponsors post-doctoral research in the humanities and social sciences in the Arab Levant. The role enables him to pursue his deep interest in ending conflict in the region through collaborative action, and promoting social resilience and peace through cultural awareness.

Moderator:

  • Nour Saleh (MSc International Politics 2014): Founder of Art Breath, she is also an artist, designer, writer, and researcher.

Have you got a question you would like to ask? Just submit your question to alumni@soas.ac.uk and we will attempt to address as many of them at the event as possible.


What is Art Breath?

Art Breath is founded by SOAS alumna Nour Saleh (MSc International Politics 2014). It is a platform that reports, develops and highlights the links and influences between art and culture with politics, society, philanthropy and economy. It encourages and sees all forms of art and culture as tools of empowerment, peace building, understanding and diplomacy, in each person’s life and in society, engaging in activities and projects.

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Date and Time

Location

Brunei Suite - Ground Floor, Brunei Building

SOAS University of London

Russell Square

London

WC1H 0XG

United Kingdom

View Map

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