JAOU Tunis 2015: Visual Culture In An Age Of Global Conflict

The National Museum of Bardo, Tunis

28-30 May 2015

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The Kamel Lazaar Foundation staged a two-day conference at the National Museum of Bardo from 28–30 May, 2015. This was the 3rd iteration of the JAOU initiative held there and the first international conference at the Museum since the terrorist attacks on Wednesday, 18 March 2015.

Organized in advance of those attacks, the conference took on an additional pertinence in relation to any investigation into the role that culture performs in the personal, social, public, and political discourses that are unfolding across the region. The indiscriminate attacks have further highlighted the susceptibility of culture in an age of global terror, as have the recent destruction of artifacts in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere. The questions that remain demand exploration and considered responses if we are to not only condemn these attacks but also ensure that culture and civil society will prevail in the face of extremism, violence and indiscriminate killing.

JAOU 2015 brought together local and international artists, curators, academics, and cultural practitioners to address these concerns and included, alongside other events, a condition report on visual culture in the Maghreb, an extended series of round table discussions on, respectively, collaborative geographies in an age of global conflict, the future of art institutions in the Middle East, the role of artistic practices in building international relations and local institutions, the use of archives in contemporary art practices, and the historical genealogies that inform performance art in the Middle East.

Here is a link to a video of the presentation of the programme, further information about the details of the event and programme can be found on the Ibraaz site

1. Roundtable Panel 1
2. Anthony Downey and Sultan Al Qassami
3. Roundtable Panel 2
4. Hiwa K.
5. Payam Sharifi of Slavs and Tatars

Image credit: Ibraaz