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Political satire from the Arab-speaking world

Drawing: Amjad Rasmi

Drawing: Amjad Rasmi

Some 30 drawings from North Africa and the Middle East display political satire at Kåkenhus, Norrköping Campus, in an exhibition that opened on November 6th.

Behind the exhibition, titled ‘On the Edge – Satirical Drawings from the Arab World’, is the Museum for Forgetting, a non-profit association with informal connections to LiU and students and teachers at the faculty of Culture, Society, and Media Production, as well as the programme for social and cultural analysis.

“The exhibition will also be on simultaneous display in Beirut at a cultural centre in the Unesco Palace,” says Erik Berggren, whose day job is research coordinator for the Department of Social and Welfare Studies. He is responsible for the exhibition along with Kosta Economou, lecturer at the Department for Studies of Social Change and Culture, as well as the artists Sahar Burhan and Saad Hajo. ‘On the Edge’ will be on display in the foyer of the Campus Library in Kåkenhus until December 12th.

“The drawings were made by several of the most prominent political and humoristic cartoonists from North Africa and the Middle East, from Morocco in the west to Iraq and Iran in the east. They lie on the boundary between the aesthetic and the malicious, between ‘eternal’ art and topical commentary, between laughter and gravity, and between freedom and repression.”

The organisers wrote on the Museum for Forgetting homepage about the exhibition: “The Arabic (and Iranian) political and satirical cartooning tradition is most probably studied in the West today in discussions around the visual arts, freedom of expression, and repression that have swept across the world stemming from the so-called Muhammad caricatures published in Jyllandsposten in Denmark in 2005. But this cartooning tradition has a long, vigorous history of crossing boundaries and is still today a fundamental feature in political and cultural communication in most countries of the Middle East.”

The Museum for Forgetting is a cultural project that wants to establish a space for reflection, debate, and art exhibitions around contemporary issues and cultural forgetfulness as a unifying, inspiring concept. It began in 2007 and has served off and on as a type of practice lab for students at Norrköping Campus. “Our being able to hold exhibitions in Kåkenhus can be seen as a further step in collaboration with the university,” Berggren says.


Therese Winder 2010-11-09




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Last updated: 2010-11-09