Posted on November 20, 2018

In collaboration with the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies (DI), Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art will host a two-day conference exploring “Expanding Geographies of Resistance on Modern and Contemporary Art”. The conference, to be held between the 26th – 27th of November, will mirror the museum’s groundbreaking fall exhibitions programme, dedicated to exploring artists as vital actors of social and cultural change and the relationship between generations of artists and the social and historic contexts they lived in.

Developed as part of an ongoing dialogue between Mathaf and DI, the conference aims to open venues of discussion to a wide range of professionals, practitioners, and thinkers, drawing on the context of Doha and the Gulf. Simultaneously, it will address the challenge of bridging scholarly and curatorial perspectives to collectively rethink contemporary research practices in modern and contemporary eras, when the majority of countries in the region were struggling with conflicts and change. Open to the public, the conference will focus on the following themes: Art and Society; The Artist as Citizen and storyteller; Art Histories in Contexts of Social Change; and Art and politics in post-independence and pre-revolution eras.

Speakers will include: Abdellah Karroum, Director, Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art; Aisha Al Muftah, Researcher; Amina Menia, Artist; Catherine David, Deputy Director, Centre Pompidou; Dia Azzawi, Artist; Faraj Daham, Artist; Ghada Al Khater, Artist; Hafiz Ali Abdulla, Filmmaker; Hamid Dabashi, Professor, Columbia University; Housni Alkhateeb Shehada, Lecturer and Curator; Ibrahim  M.Jaidah, Architect; Ismail Nashef, Professor,Doha Institute; Jacques Aswad, Poet; Merve Elveren, Independent Curator; Raqs Media Collective, Artists; Sami Mohammed, Artist; Sarah Rifky, Independent Curator; Yasser Al Mulla, Artist; Yousef Ahmed, Artist; Zoran Eric, Curator, Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade.

Commenting on the announcement, Mathaf Director, Abdellah Karroum stated: “We see the museum as a place for debate and a platform for reading and sharing art histories, as well as building the conditions for the people to experience the art of our time. It is crucial for us to connect the Museum and the University, continuing the investment in research on specific geographies or art and takes encyclopedic knowledge to larger audiences.  We look forward to welcoming our peers as we study and explore the intertwined relationship between modern art and the societies in which it is produced. This conference is an important moment to read existing narratives and discover new perspectives in the discourse on art.”

Under the patronage of HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Chairperson of QM, Mathaf celebrates modern and contemporary art created in Qatar, the Middle East and the international Arab diaspora. From thought-provoking exhibitions to engaging public talks, it invites the local community to learn, share ideas and question.

Ismail Nashef from DI stated: “Doha Institute is committed to supporting knowledge production platforms in the Arab world, and beyond. Addressing the interrelations between artistic practices and academic knowledge is part of our mission as a higher education institution. The collaboration with Mathaf on the topic of art and society is a major intervention in the Arab and international cultural fields. We aim to provide the necessary platforms and the academic as well as the curatorial tools to open new horizons for researchers and artists to explore the challenging issues that this conference will focus on.”

​​​​The Doha Institute for Graduate Studies (DI) is an independent institute for learning and research in the fields of Social Sciences, Humanities, Public Administration and Development Economics in Doha. Designated as a not-for-profit, private institution, the DI is operated exclusively for educational, research and public service purposes. It was founded in 2014, as an autonomous legal entity, by the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies.