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UPDATE REGARDING COVID-19: Please note that the Artists at Risk Connection (ARC) is not a grantmaking program and is unable to assist artists financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Art, Activism and Migration: An Evening with Khaled Barakeh

October 28, 2019

Monday, October 28, 2019
6:30 PM

MacDowell NYC
521 West 23rd St, 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10011

Free event, registration required

What does it mean to be a Syrian artist living in exile today? How does one organize a cultural community of practitioners that exists more concretely virtually than it does in person? With the whole world involved in the Syrian crisis, what do Syrian artists do to get their displaced community actively involved in the global art scene? What does it mean to create the first mobile Syrian Biennale, which traces the route of refugees from Lebanon to Central Europe?

Join us for a discussion exploring these questions and more with Syrian-born, Berlin-based conceptual artist Khaled Barakeh. Working in the incredibly crucial nexus of art, activism, migration, and community-building, Barakeh will give a lecture on his artistic practice, his platform CoCulture,* which elevates the work of other migrant artists from the Middle-East, and his experience using art as a tool for social change and in response to the Syrian crisis.

MacDowell poet alumna Eileen Myles will introduce the artist and Barakeh’s presentation will be followed by a conversation with MacDowell alumna Dahlia Elsayed.

Reception to follow.

This event is presented by the Artists at Risk Connection, MacDowell Colony, and ArteEast and is made possible thanks to the generous support of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the Violet Jabara Trust. Additional support for this program was provided by the Middle East Institute's Arts and Culture Center through a grant from the Ford Foundation-IIE.

About the speakers

Khaled Barakeh is a conceptual artist and cultural activist who plays an integral part in the global artivism movement. The geographical shift in Barakeh’s life – moving from Syria to Europe – resulted in major changes in his approach towards his work. Originally trained as a painter, he developed a stronger focus on contemporary art practices, working with a variety of media and topics. He approaches creative practices as a tool for social change and cultural preservation. As a continuation of these activities outside of his artistic practice, he founded a non-profit organization, CoCulture, which runs a number of initiatives, such as SYRIA Cultural Index and the Syrian Biennale, focused on connecting and empowering displaced cultural producers in the Middle East, Europe, and beyond.

Barakeh has exhibited at MKG Hamburg, Shanghai Biennale, Salt Istanbul, Kunsthalle Brandts, Frankfurter Kunstverein, Artspace New Zealand, Busan Biennale, Künstlerhaus Stuttgart and among other international venues. He received his education from the Faculty of Fine Arts in Damascus, Syria, Funen Art Academy in Odense, Denmark and the Städelschule Art Academy in Frankfurt, Germany.

Dahlia Elsayed makes fictional landscapes in pictorial spaces that are simultaneously flat and real, creating myth pictures for placelessness. Her work has been exhibited widely, including at the 12th Cairo Biennale, Robert Miller Gallery, BravinLee Programs, The New Jersey State Museum and Aljira Center for Contemporary Art. Her work is in the public collections of the Newark Museum, Zimmerli Museum, Johnson & Johnson Corporation, the US Department of State, amongst others. Dahlia has received awards from the Joan Mitchell Foundation, the MacDowell Colony, Women’s Studio Workshop, Headlands Center for the Arts, and the NJ State Council on the Arts.

About Coculture

CoCulture is a Berlin-based non-profit founded in 2017 by artist Khaled Barakeh, serving as an umbrella organization to initiate and develop artistic and social projects. CoCulture’s main objective is to address different facets of the challenges faced by displaced culture and cultural producers through a broad scope of projects and activities in the Middle East, Europe and beyond, aiming to improve the situation of artists in exile while actively contributing to the local cultural scene.

The most significant projects at CoCulture are the Syria Cultural Index, the Syrian Biennale, Giving Spaces, and Support the Supporters. 

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