Building up to the Beirut Art Fair

Ahram Online, Monday 6 Feb 2012

This year’s Beirut Art Fair in July seeks to reaffirm the role of Beirut as the cultural capital for the Arab world, Iran and Turkey

Beirut Art Fair

Preparing for its grand event to take place between 5 and 8 July, the Beirut Art Fair unveils its cultural programme with an emphasis on the diversity of contemporary art

This year’s art fair is dedicated to the modern and contemporary artists from the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia. For five consecutive days, the Beirut International Exhibition Leisure Center (BIEL) will host over 40 galleries from across the region.

In their press release, the fair organisers promise that the fair will be enriched by what they call ‘events in the event’, a variety of cultural programmes featuring street art, comic strips, video, VJs (video jockeys), sculpture and installations.

The Comics Corner will include 30 original drawings, from Maghreb to Asia via the Middle East, and “shows how comic creators seize the political, social and economic situations of their native countries,” featuring as Zeina Abirached, Mazen Kerbaj, and Jorj Mhaya from Lebanon, Nadia Khiari from Tunisia, and Mohamed El Sharkawi from Egypt.

The Video Box will showcase works by Ali Cherri from Lebanon, Halida Boughriet from Algeria and Qiu Zhijie from China.

According to the press release, “Beirut Art Fair dedicates a space for the artistic creation born in the heart of the city and makes the walls speak, revealing five years of archives offering a journey through Beirut, its tags and graffiti, and its performances in urban areas. Links with hip hop culture will be shown throughout the fair with a mix of images of VJs in succession during a performance by a group of Lebanese artists.”

Beirut Art Fair Talks will offer the visitors a special programme in which art professionals will have a chance to exchange ideas, while panel discussions on core transformations in the art market and role of media in the artistic sphere aim to attract audiences form the Lebanon and across the Middle East.

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