ArtEvolution by the Goethe-Institut Libanon, Impulse I & II

The Goethe-Institut Libanon is organising the ArtEvolution program, featuring a series of “Impulse Sessions” in Beirut and Saida during June and July. These sessions, open to the public, are guided by guest curators who aim to foster engaging discussions and open debates within civil society.

The first set of panels in June focuses on the struggles faced by performing artists and institutions in Beirut, amidst political turmoil and repression. Topics include the role of stand-up comedy as a tool for socio-political critique, the challenges of creating safe spaces for performing arts, queerness and sexual expression in a conservative society, and the use of cybersecurity and psychological warfare as means of repression.

In July, the program explores the socio-political value and impact of performing arts in public spaces. The discussions centre around reclaiming spaces, voices, and community connections. Topics include the history and revival of the floating theatre in Saida, the influence of performing arts in public spaces on citizens’ relationship with their cities, the social and political imagination in tales, and the role of playback theatre in bridging differences and honouring human conditions.

These Impulse Sessions aim to raise awareness, foster dialogue, and create safer and more inclusive spaces for artistic expression in Lebanon. The program addresses censorship, surveillance, financial sustainability, and the importance of digital platforms for artistic communities. It also explores the impact of performing arts on social and political issues, promoting cultural democratization and community engagement.

The sessions take place at various locations in Beirut and Saida, and the guest speakers include artists, activists, and cultural figures who share their experiences and insights. The curator of Impulse I is Lynn Modallal and the panellists are Andrew Hraiz, Omar Layza, Bassam Abou Diab, Nabil Canaan, Khansa, Zyad Al Seblany (Zuhal), and Anaelle Saade. The curators of Impulse II are Hiba Zibaoui and Nahla El Zibawi and the panellists are Hiba Zaher El Bizri, Amal Kaawash, Ali Al Samra, Farah Wardani. Through these discussions, ArtEvolution seeks to encourage a vibrant and resilient arts scene in Lebanon, where artists and activists can freely express themselves and advocate for change.

About The ArtEvolution

ARTEVOLUTION, part of the Ta’ziz Partnership, funded by the Federal Foreign Office, aims to enhance prospects and foster participatory decision-making in Sudan, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Libya, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and Egypt. Over 100 projects have been supported since 2011, focusing on culture and education. The initiative challenges the negative portrayal of the region by creating spaces for dialogue, qualification, and exchange among young people and civil society actors. Through training and networking, Ta’ziz Partnership promotes future-oriented approaches, self-empowerment, and creativity, aiming to go beyond fixed concepts and foster innovation in the participating countries.

Location: Barzakh, Beirut and Ishbilia Theatre, Saida

Date: 22 & 23 June and 14 & 15 July 2023



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