CONF Nov 8, 2016

The Avant-Garde and its Networks (Beirut, 14-15 Nov 16)

Beirut, Orient-Institut, Nov 14–15, 2016

Julia Drost

The Avant-Garde and its Networks
Surrealism in Paris, North Africa and the Middle East from the 1930s
14-15 November 2016

Orient-Institut Beirut

Research into Surrealism in the Middle East and North Africa is still in its infancy, despite an increased interest in the subject in the last couple of years, especially in Egypt’s Art and Freedom group. It is generally assumed that the artistic and cultural exchanges took place mainly between the “center” in Paris and the respective “peripheries”, and less so between the peripheries themselves. The workshop seeks to shed light on Surrealism as a political, social, literary and artistic phenomenon that migrated beyond Europe and was translated into different contexts. It focuses on international networks and translation processes between Paris, Beirut, Cairo, and other cities from North Africa to Iran. The question of how the circulation and reception of artistic and literary ideas and practices have affected the concepts of Surrealism and modernity is another point the workshop seeks to address.

Conception and organization: Monique Bellan/Orient-Institut Beirut (OIB) and Julia Drost/Deutsches Forum für Kunstgeschichte Paris (DFK)

Monday, 14 November 2016
Welcome Stefan Leder, director OIB
Introduction Monique Bellan (OIB) and Julia Drost (DFK)

12:00 Sam Bardaouil (Curator, Independent Scholar, Co-founder of Art Reoriented,
The Art and Liberty Group and the Reworking of Surrealism in Egypt

Discussant: Nadia Bou Ali (American University of Beirut)

13:30 – 14:30 Lunch Break

14:30 Judith Bihr (Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe/ZKM Karlsruhe)
Rethinking Concepts of Modernity within the Egyptian Art Discourse: The so-called “Surrealists” of the Nile

15:15 Eyüp Özveren (Middle East technical University, Ankara)
Paris-Istanbul Axis of the Avant-Garde and the Paradoxes of Turkish Surreal/ism in a Mediterranean Context

Discussant: Nadia Bou Ali (American University of Beirut)
16:00 Coffee Break


16:15 Arturo Monaco (Sapienza University of Rome)
Syria and Surrealism: Urkhan Muyassar´s Pioneering Role in Translating Surrealism in Arabic

17:00 Catherine Hansen (American University of Beirut)
Specialists in Revolt : The Turkish Surrealist Group and the Future of the Surrealist Movement

Discussant: Sonja Mejcher-Atassi (American University of Beirut)
17:45 Coffee Break

18:00 Jad Tabet (Beirut/Paris)
We entered Art from the Kitchen Door: Being Twenty in Beirut of the Thirties

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

10:00 Morad Montazami (Tate Modern, London)
Ardeshir Mohasses or the Surrealist Hypothesis in Iran

10:45 Cléa Daridan (Paris IV Sorbonne)
Réseaux de diffusion et réception: Le surréalisme Égyptien à la lumière de la presse francophone d´Égypte

11:30 Coffee Break
11:45 Julia Drost (DFK, Paris)
“Je vous prie de dire, avant tout, que je suis un fils du surréalisme” – Georges Schéhadé et les surréalistes parisiens

Discussant: Monique Bellan (OIB)
12:30-13:30 - Lunch Break

13:30 Monique Bellan (OIB)
European Surrealists in Beirut in the 1960s-70s and the Role of the Gallery

14:15 Megan C. MacDonald (Koç University, Istanbul)
Oriental Germs on the Mediterranean Surreal: Crossing Antonin Artaud with Habib Tengour

15:00 Fabrice Flahutez (Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense)
Joyce Mansour et le surréalisme

Discussant: Julia Drost (DFK)

CONF: The Avant-Garde and its Networks (Beirut, 14-15 Nov 16). In:, Nov 8, 2016 (accessed Jun 30, 2022), <>.