[SOLD OUT] New York Arab World Culture Forum: Art for Sustainable FuturesVIEW EVENT DETAILS
Part of New York Arab Art and Education Initiative
Panel discussion 6:30–8:00 p.m.
Asia Society and Edge of Arabia, in partnership with UNESCO, present the New York/Arab World Culture Forum: Art for Sustainable Futures.
The Forum will explore the role of the arts in building a more sustainable future by supporting the United Nation’s goals for sustainable development. Stephen Stapleton, founder of Edge of Arabia, will moderate a discussion with artists Razan Al Sarraf, Matthew Mazzotta, Rashad Salim following welcome remarks from Boon Hui Tan, Vice President of Global Arts & Cultural Programs and Director of Asia Society Museum, and Marie Roudil, UNESCO Representative to the UN.
This event is part of the broader New York City Arab Art and Education Initiative, a 12-month series of artist-led dialogues and public programming connecting the Arab world and New York City. The year-long Initiative brings together a coalition of cultural partners to showcase Arab artistic expressions in the United States.
Razan Al Sarraf is a Kuwaiti-born visual artist based in New York. Through painting she examines the social, religious, and political climate of the Middle East. Al Sarraf is the recipient of the Ministry of Higher Education of Kuwait Merit Scholarship, SVA Alumni Society Scholarship and Award, as well as multiple Kuwait Culture Academic Merit awards. She has exhibited internationally, participating in solo and group shows in New York, New Jersey, and Kuwait. Al Sarraf received her BFA from the School of Visual Art in New York.
Matthew Mazzotta works at the intersection of art, activism, and urbanism, focusing on the power of the built environment to shape our relationships and experiences. His community-specific public projects integrate new forms of civic participation and social engagement into the built environment and reveal how the spaces one travels through and spends time living in have the potential to become distinct sites for intimate, radical, and meaningful exchanges. Each project starts with temporary public spaces, which he calls “Outdoor Living Rooms,” to capture voices from local people who may not attend more formal meetings. Stemming from this approach are experiences that involve people from a range of backgrounds working together to create new models of living that contribute to local culture beyond the economic realm. Mazzotta is currently a Loeb Fellow at Harvard University, and received an MS from MIT and a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Rashad Salim is an Iraqi-German expeditionary artist and designer with an interest in the history and development of culture and technology. Hailing from a long line of artists, Salim is an interdisciplinary autodidact and studied at the Institute of Fine Arts, University of Baghdad; and Saint Martin’s School of Art (now Central Saint Martins), London. In 2016, he began fieldwork in Iraq and established Safina Projects CIC to deliver the project and its program of boat constructions, river journeys, research, artworks, events, and capacity-building outcomes for Iraqi arts, crafts, and cultural heritage. In 2015, he launched Ark Re-imagined, a project examining what the ark might look like if it were based on the ecology and craft traditions of Mesopotamia and built using materials and techniques available during that period. From 1977 to 1978, he took part in Thor Heyerdahl’s Tigris expedition, traveling on a reed boat from Iraq to East Africa.
Stephen Stapleton (moderator) is the cofounder of Edge of Arabia, an arts collective established in 2003 on the border between Yemen and Saudi Arabia. Since then, Stapleton has pioneered an artist-led model for cultural exchange across contested borders. Stapleton has produced over 50 international exhibitions including at museums and biennales in Berlin, Dubai, Istanbul, London, New York, Riyadh, Venice, and elsewhere.
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