A River Flows Downstream at the Middle East Institute

Paul Gorra, Untitled, from the series Beirut River (2023), 19.6 x 19.6 in.

“A River Flows Downstream”, curated by Roï Saade at the Middle East Institute in collaboration with Tribe, takes viewers on a captivating journey through diverse ecosystems across space and time. Through the lens of eight talented artists, this photography exhibition immerses viewers in their unique worlds, where ecological and cultural landscapes intertwine. As viewers drift along the river of artworks, they bear witness to the ever-changing environments shaped by the profound connection between water and life. This exhibition prompts contemplation of humanity’s impact on the environment and the reciprocal influence of environmental changes on societies.
Ultimately, it highlights the inseparable bond between nature and humanity, underscoring its critical importance for the future of both realms. Just as the river guides our path, we navigate an uncertain future with humility and respect for the natural world. The artists featured in the show include Hoda Afshar, Zied Ben Romdhane, Solmaz Daryani, Reem Falaknaz, Paul Gorra, Emin Özmen, Roi Saade and Tamara Abdul Hadi.

Solmaz Daryani, The stakes of a jetty covered in salt look like popsicles, 2014, 27.5 x 18.1 in.

About the Curator 

Roï Saade is a boundary-pushing interdisciplinary artist, who explores the dynamic interplay between graphic design, photography, and the arts. With a deep-rooted passion for challenging systems of dominance and inequality, Saade actively seeks innovative methods of resistance. Through the medium of photography, Saade delves into the intricate realms of individual and collective identity, capturing the essence of social and personal encounters. Currently serving as a research associate at the Access in the Making Research Lab, located at Concordia University in Montreal, Saade’s thought-provoking photography has graced the walls of esteemed museums and galleries in Canada, Jordan, Lebanon, and New York.

Location: Middle East Institute, Washington DC

Duration: June 14, 2023-Oct 13, 2023



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