The Fertile Crescent: Female artists from the Middle East take on New Jersey

Ahram Online, Monday 3 Sep 2012

The Fertile Crescent: Gender, Art, and Society is a project that brings together 25 female artists from 11 countries across the Middle East in a series of exhibitions in New Jersey, US

Organised by the Rutgers University's Institute for Women and Art, a centre which aims to harness gender equality and more exposure for female artists, The Fertile Crescent showcases 12 art exhibitions and a series of, lectures, films, musical events by contemporary Middle Eastern artists from mid-August to mid-January.

Artwork from Egypt, Israel, Kuwait, Iran, Syria and Lebanon, among others, present perspectives from the Middle East to an American audience through a range of different mediums. Exhibited in the shadows of the spotlight-demanding Arab Spring, the artwork does not solely revolve around politics; it presents gender tensions, religion, the question of heritage and tradition through diverse artists from contrasting backgrounds.

"Through painting, video, photography, sculpture, film, and multi-media, these artists explore issues of gender, homeland, geopolitics, theology, transnationalism and the interaction between East and West," reads the press release.

"The work challenges Western stereotypes of Middle East women as oppressed, the sexual objects of men, with their bodies disappearing under veils, while acknowledging existing social and theological restrictions that have caused many of them to leave their homelands."

All events will take place around New Brunswick and Princeton, New Jersey in Mason Gross Galleries Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ; Princeton University Art Museum and Bernstein Gallery, Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University; Arts Council of Princeton.

More information about the exhibition programme and venues here.

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