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Home Works 5

Different venues, Beirut

Home Works is a multidisciplinary platform that takes place in Beirut, Lebanon approximately every other year. Since its inception in 2002, Home Works has evolved into one of the most vibrant platforms for research and exchange on cultural and artistic practices in the region and beyond. Artists, cultural practitioners, writers, and thinkers gather for ten days in order to share their work which addresses a common set of urgent, timely questions.

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Home Works Forum is a multidisciplinary platform that takes place in Beirut, Lebanon about every other year. Since its inception in 2002, Home Works has evolved into one of the most vibrant platforms for research and exchange on cultural practices in the region and beyond. Artists, cultural practitioners, writers, and thinkers gather for ten days in order to share their works, which take the form of exhibitions, performances, lectures, videos, artists' talks, workshops and publications.

What links the forum's participants together is their approach to a common set of urgent, timely questions. Their work endeavors to create methods of critical inquiry and aesthetic form capable of conveying those questions meaningfully and proposing possible solutions. The Home Works Forum is a productive space in which political, social, economic, and cultural realities can be explored, reflected, and made manifest as visual and verbal articulations that occur with some consistency.

As a title, the term "Home Works" suggests an intertwining of public and private spheres, the outside world of work and the inside space of home. It refers to the exercises, lessons, and research problems that are worked out by students repetitively and in solitude. More broadly, "Home Works," itself an impossible plural, implies a process of internal excavation, of digging and burrowing deeper while simultaneously constructing and accumulating new practices


IN AND OUT OF EDUCATION...What Can We Teach Nowadays?

The disputed crisis of art education has been widely scrutinized, especially in Europe, over the last decade. Little debated, arts education in Lebanon needs careful examination and questioning keeping in mind the specificities of the local context. Despite several art degree-granting universities in Lebanon, the gap between what is being taught in academia and what is actually being practiced within the contemporary art scene is widening. However, this terrain hosts a continuous development of informal and experimental learning platforms: the city of Beirut is a sphere in which students, artists and professionals meet and exchange ideas in a constant process of everyday education. Individuals debate and seek new knowledge in relation to one another and within their surroundings. The theme 'In and Out of Education ... What Can We Teach Nowadays' looks at the possibilities of reinventing and enhancing the specific 'in and out' situation of informal arts education in relation to Beirut. This theme also underlies an attempt to set up a new educational programme through Ashkal Alwan for Contemporary Arts - The Home Works Academy - which will use the city of Beirut and its wider context as its campus, its research topic, its platform and again the site from which ideas will sprout.

'In and Out of Education...' poses the question of how to develop an experiential approach to arts education, which not only offers a challenging and creative space within society but also responds to the city's urgent questions and uses its wider context as its main curriculum. As part of this theme Ashkal Alwan will invite artists, thinkers and collectives who have actively engaged with artistic research and education to critically reflect on the question 'What Can We Teach Nowadays'

WHERE IS BEIRUT, RAMALLAH, CAIRO...from the Saadiyat Island?

'Saadiayat Cultural District: The pulsing cultural hub for celebration and innovation in the arts, and the soul upon which the entire fabric of the island is built. With its array of architectural icons, Saadiayat Cultural District fuels the imagination, fosters interaction, and allows people of all backgrounds to embrace a common bond of creativity.

The above statement greets us when browsing the website of the Saadiyat Cultural District, the new cultural centre of the UAE, situated 500 meters off the coast of Abu Dhabi. The island is master-planned to house the Sheikh Zayed National Museum, the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, the Louvre Abu Dhabi and the Performing Arts Center. The UAE's transformation into a major cultural investor has produced the Saadiyat Cultural District, along with its neighbors the Sharjah Biennial and Art Dubai. Challenged with this cultural project of startling proportions, we feel an urgency to ask questions, some of which may be: what relation does Saadiyat Island have to cities such as Beirut, Cairo and Ramallah How does the Saadiyat Cultural District converse with and resonate through artistic practices in the region What kind of economic effect could this project generate regionally and internationally The impetus for asking these questions comes from the necessity for artists and thinkers to reflect on the future of art institutions, the global economy and the conditions of artistic production and circulation. For this theme Ashkal Alwan intends to invite agents to conduct research on the Saadiyat Cultural District project and its implications for the development of the region.


'Sound and Citizenry' proposes to look at the complex dynamic between citizenship and sound, departing from the sonic potential of people engaged in politics. This theme considers convergences of the aural and the democratic, such as the relationship between slogans and activism, poetry and revolution, music and torture, as well as taking up issues such as the increase of noise frequency, the politics of music, silence and agency, tremor and tension, rage and rights. 'Sound and Citizenry' posits numerous questions, such as 'how does sound relate to citizenry', 'what sounds do citizens make', or 'how can the sonic be used politically' We would like to invite artists, thinkers, organizers, journalists and performers to further investigate our everyday relationship to sound.


The Odd Years examines the events of the sixties from two perspectives: Although the sixties saw an engagement with dream and disillusion around the world, this 'odd' conjunction reverberating still to this day, the sixties cannot be reduced to the global student protests, demanding that the 'odd' years - 65, 67, 69 for example - need a more critical examination. During Home Works 5, Ashkal Alwan will invite a number of artists and thinkers to produce and present projects that attempt to read the personal resonance of events, figures or phenomena from the odd years in their respective practices. Such an engagement will not rehistoricize the sixties, nor will it attempt to approach the odd years from a documentary or chronological perspective. The Odd Years, instead, will ask for works by artists and thinkers who seek to reveal the continuous seepage of the decade into their contemporary epistemic and cultural modes of production.


Militarism - the army's sway over politics and/or its governance in a given country - occupies an eminent position in many regimes in the Middle East. The case of Syria, Turkey or Israel can illustrate how the military institution has a central and decisive involvement in politics. These three regimes are more or less militarized; their political realities are diversely affected by the intervention of the army. In Israel for instance, the political elite is mainly formed of men from a military background, as is made clear by the predominance of ex-generals' succession to the country's governmental posts. In Turkey, the army has a strong hand in political activity and defends the secular regime; as such, it is not farfetched that it would intervene to topple an elected government, should it sense that there is a transgression of the foundations of the Republic of Ataturk. As for Syria, the army has total control over the government, preventing any form of power sharing. Ashkal Alwan intends to invite thinkers and artists to research and reflect on militarism and to present works that engage with this issue, based on the aforementioned examples without being limited to those specific countries.

Panels, Lectures
Ayşe Gül Altınay & Nadje Al-Ali | Abbas Beydoun | T.J. Demos (moderator), Faisal Devji, Amar Kanwar, Hito Steyerl | Reem Fadda (moderator), Clare Davies, Knoll+Cella, Anton Vidokle | Ali Fayyad | Thomas Keenan | Farouk Mardam-Bey | Walid Raad (moderator), Shumon Basar, Mishaal Al Gergawi, Vasıf Kortun, Andrew Ross, Nada Shabout | Walid Sadek (moderator), Okwui Enwezor, Sandi Hilal/ Alessandro Petti | Nizar Saghieh | Raja Shehadeh | Gregory Sholette (moderator), Yazid Anani, Charles Esche, Judi Werthein | Mohammed Soueid | Youssef Tohme | Jalal Toufic | Fadi Toufiq

Artist Talks & Projects
Lawrence Abu Hamdan | Tony Chakar | Kodwo Eshun & Steve Goodman | Hiwa K | | Ashkan Sepahvand | Setareh Shahbazi

Antonia Baehr | Jacopo Carreras, Daniele Camarda, Lana Daher, Raed El Khazen, Jana Saleh | Boris Charmatz & Médéric Collignon | Gaspard Delanoë, Israel Galván & Yalda Younes | Israel Galván | Rima Khcheich & Rabih Mroué | Mısırlı Ahmet | Rabih Mroué & Lina Saneh | The Otolith Group

Ruanne Abou- Rahme & Basel Abbas | Ayreen Anastas | Marwa Arsanios | Vartan Avakian | Broomberg & Chanarin | Decolonizing Architecture | Cevdet Erek | Shahab Fotouhi | Ghassan Halwani | Amal Issa | Bengü Karaduman | Hassan Khan | Maha Maamoun | Marwan Rechmaoui | Raed Yassin | Ala’ Younis

Screening Program
Eslam Zein El Abedeen & Mohamed Zayan | Harun Farocki | Bahman Kiarostami | Albert Lamorisse | Avi Mograbi | Rania Rafei | Till Roeskens | Shirin Abu Shaqra | Wael Shawky | Boris Charmatz, Dimitri Chamblas & César Vayssi | Koji Wakamatsu | Apichatpong Weerasethakul

Publication Projects
Fadi Abdallah | Rayya Badran

Book Launch
Fadi Toufiq

For a detailed programme, please refer to


Theatre Monnot
Monot, Achrafieh

Crypt of St. Joseph Church
Saint Joseph University Street, next to Théâtre Monnot, Achrafieh

Metropolis Empire Sofil
Empire Sofil, Achrafieh

Beirut Art Center
Jisr El Wati - Off Corniche an Nahr
April 22.10 - May 22.10
Opening reception: Thursday April 22, from 3pm to 5pm

Ashkal Alwan for Contemporary Arts and the Home Works Academy
Jisr El Wati - Next to Beirut Art Center

Dome City Center
Downtown Beirut

The Roman Baths
Downtown Beirut

Sunflower Theatre
Tayouneh Roundabout

Home Works 5
dal 20/4/2010 al 21/5/2010

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