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MEI Arts & Culture Quarterly

Date(s) - 09/14/2019
7:00 pm - 11:30 pm

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The Middle East Institute Center for Arts and Culture promotes the power of the arts to build bridges, deepen understanding, and foster dialogue.
Khaled Barakeh, Please Remain Seated, 2009. Copyright the artist, courtesy of Shamiyana Collection, Switzerland and Spain.
Khaled Barakeh, Courtesy of Dagens Naeringsliv.
Artist of the Month
Khaled Barakeh
This fall, the MEI Art Gallery will open with its inaugural exhibition, Arabicity | Ourouba, curated by Rose Issa. The exhibition will showcase the work of diverse Arab artists, including Khaled Barakeh, a Syrian conceptual artist, curator, and activist. The Berlin-based artist combines traditional methods with modern techniques to create socio-political commentary. In Please Remain Seated (see image above), featured in the MEI exhibit, Barakeh combines the keffiyah, a traditional scarf that has become a symbol of Palestinian resistance, with a lifejacket, a symbol of security. But in Barakeh’s interpretation, this combination reflects the insecurities and struggles of marginalized communities, instead. In a recent Vanity Fair article, Barakeh discusses the preservation of culture and heritage, how his understanding of oppression and solidarity impacts his work, and the challenges of creating art even in the face of displacement and conflict. Click here to read the article.
Save the Date
MEI Art Gallery Inaugural Exhibition
Saturday, September 14, 2019
Experience DC’s favorite cultural festival, Art All Night, at the MEI Art Gallery’s inaugural exhibition, Arabicity | Ourouba. Curated by Rose Issa, the show explores the aesthetic, conceptual, and socio-political concerns of the Arab world over the past twenty years as expressed by its leading artists.
Join us for a night featuring:
  • Live oud music
  • Dabke dancing
  • On-site calligrapher
  • DJ Muath Edriss
  • Pop-up bar by the Green Zone
Hassan Hajjaj, Saida in Blue, 2000. Copyright the artist, courtesy of Rose Issa Projects.
Honoring the Life and Legacy of Kamal Boullata
Kamal Boullata. Courtesy of Joanna Masel.
Palestinian artist and writer Kamal Boullata died at his home in Berlin at the age of 77. Boullata was a pioneer of the Hurufiyya movement of the 1970s and ’80s, which combined Arabic calligraphy and Modernism. He was also the author of several influential books and articles on art and contemporary culture in Palestine.
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