Visualizing Iraqi Politics & Cultures in Iraq and Diaspora

Panel Discussion Fri 16 Feb 2007 6.30PM-8.30PM The New School, Wollman Hall
55 West 11th Street (enter at 66 West 12th Street), 5th Floor
Admission: $10, free for all students, as well as Center for Book Arts members and New School faculty, staff and alumni with valid ID
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In the 1960s and 1970s, Baghdad emerged as a vital cultural center in the Arab world. After the devastation of the Hussein regime, and the developing civil war now, how do Iraqi artists today cope with the daily physical challenges most of us can barely imagine? In conjunction with the exhibition Dafatir: Contemporary Iraqi Book Art at the Center for Book Arts, the exhibition's curator, Nada Shabout, Assistant Professor of Art History at the University of North Texas, leads a panel discussion exploring the issues faced by Iraqi artists in Iraq and here. In particular, the panelists explore the proliferation of the book as an art form pursued by contemporary Iraqi artists, the relationship between Islamic manuscripts and contemporary book art, notions of identity and resistance to the erasure of identity, and the experience of exile. Dafatir (which translates as "notebooks" in Arabic) will introduce to New York the work of fifteen Iraqi book artists, some of whom still live and work in Iraq.
A leading authority on Iraqi contemporary art and a consultant to the U.S. Department of State's Cultural Antiquities Task Force, the Iraq-born Nada Shabout will moderate the discussion with Hashim al-Tawil, Professor of Art History at Henry Ford Community College and Lecturer in Islamic Art and Architecture and Arab Studies at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, Sharokin Betgevargiz, a lecturer in History of Graphic Design at Central Connecticut State University whose artistic work documents historic and contemporary photos and text in English and in Assyrian, and Michael Rakowitz, Associate Professor in Art Theory and Practice at Northwestern University whose Iraqi Jewish family was exiled from Iraq in 1946.

Moderator
Nada Shabout, exhibition curator, Dafatir: Contemporary Iraqi Book Art; Assistant Professor of Art History, The University of North Texas; consultant to the U.S. Department of States Cultural Antiquities Task Force

Participants
Hashim al-Tawil, Professor of Art History, Henry Ford Community College, Lecturer in Islamic Art and Architecture and in Arab Studies, University of Michigan-Dearborn
Sharokin Betgevargiz, artist, Lecturer in History of Graphic Design, Central Connecticut State University
Michael Rakowitz, artist, Associate Professor in Art Theory and Practice, Northwestern University
Ella Shohat, Professor in departments of Art, Public Policy, and Middle Eastern Studies, New York University

Presented on occasion of the exhibition Dafatir: Contemporary Iraqi Book Art at the Center for Book Arts (located at 28 West 27th Street) from January to March 2007. The panel discussion is organized by the Center for Book Arts in association with the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at The New School.